Heading into his eighth season, wide receiver John Brown is searching for a new team after asking for his release from the Las Vegas Raiders. The former Cardinals, Ravens, and Bills receiver signed a one-year, $3.75 million deal with the Raiders this past off-season. Fortunately for Brown, the Raiders honored his request, allowing him to walk.
The veteran receiver has two 1,000 yard receiving seasons and is only a season removed from his career best. Injuries hurt his 2020 campaign, but at 30, he still has something left in the tank. So that begs the question: where should he go next? A few destinations come to mind.
Kansas City Chiefs
The first team that comes to mind is the Kansas City Chiefs. KC kept five wide receivers on their 53-man roster. Tyreek Hill is the clear #1 in KC, and an experienced #2 receiver like Brown is a great compliment to the offense.
According to a recent social media comment, John Brown would love to play for the Super Bowl contending Chiefs, and given his Pittsburgh State roots, it makes sense. Mecole Hardman is poised for a breakout year and having Brown would take that pressure off of him.
Do not count out a reunion with the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are not known for their passing game. But with season-ending injuries to JK Dobbins and now Justice Hill, they are going to need to rely on the passing game more than in previous seasons.
This past offseason the Ravens signed ex-Chiefs, Rams, and Bills receiver, Sammy Watkins. His time in Baltimore has already seen him dealing with hamstring issues. Couple that with Rashod Bateman’s injury and it is a perfect recipe for a John Brown signing. Brown is familiar with the offense and would be able to plug right in.
Teams That Need Another WR
New Orleans Saints
The Saints may come as a surprise given their high-powered, pass-heavy offense, but this is a new year. Drew Brees is retired and Jameis Winston has the keys. If the Saints are to keep their identity on offense, they are going to need to bolster the position. Michael Thomas is starting the season on the PUP list, leaving the team with minimal depth the first few weeks.
When you are missing a guy like Thomas, you can feel the absence. Winston has developed a great rapport with young receivers Tre’Quan Smith and Marquez Callaway. Another WR option like John Brown would be a nice addition for the guys down in the Big Easy.
This brings us to the Saints’ division rivals, the Atlanta Falcons. Like the Saints, the Falcons experienced a lot of changes this off-season. There was a head coach change, a new GM was added, OH, and the franchise traded away their best player on the roster, Julio Jones. With Jones in the Music City, that leaves a noticeable gap at WR2 behind Calvin Ridley.
Currently, Russell Gage is holding that spot down followed by Olamide Zacchaeus (say that five times fast). Needless to say, the Falcons need a wide receiver. With John Brown signed, the Falcons will be able to redirect some of those targets to a veteran receiver and allow Gage and new rookie tight end Kyle Pitts to ease themselves into their new roles in the offense. I am sure Matt Ryan is always open to having more weapons to throw to.
This next team has the worst wide receiver room in the whole league. These guys are about as unproven as it gets. Tyrell Williams has not played a full season since 2018. Amon-Ra St. Brown is an unproven rookie. Kalif Raymond has 30 targets in four seasons, and the rest of the depth chart tells the same story.
The Lions traded long-time franchise cornerstone Matthew Stafford to the LA Rams for Jared Goff this past offseason. The former #1 overall pick has his work cut out for him if they do not add Brown. He would provide a true compliment to TJ Hockenson and allow Goff to have a fighting chance.
Vegas gives the Lions the second-lowest win-total line at 4.5 games; only the Texans have a smaller total. With John Brown on the roster, the team does not become a playoff contender. But, you cannot deny that a respected vet like Brown would be the perfect guy to bring in to help groom the young core of receivers in Detroit.