Raiders free agency: John Brown Low-Risk High-Reward Addition To WR Corps

After Nelson Agholor’s departure, the Las Vegas Raiders needed a proven wide receiver. John Brown will fill that role in 2021. The seven-year wideout will provide a veteran presence amongst the young receiving corps.

On Wednesday it was announced that the Raiders and John Brown had reached an agreement, per Adam Caplan of SiriusXM NFL Radio. He later added that the deal is for one year valued at $3.75 million but can reach up to $5.5 million. This contract is coming off the heels of a report on Monday that Nelson Agholor would be joining the New England Patriots.

Agholor’s departure left a hole in the receiving corps. With Henry Ruggs III and Bryan Edwards still learning the ropes, the Raiders needed experience at wide receiver. This is where Brown will most likely fit in.

What exactly are the Raiders getting?

The 30-year-old has surpassed the coveted 1,000-yard mark twice in his career. His career-high in catches came in 2019 when he eclipsed 72 receptions. Brown is a deep threat that has averaged 14.8 yards per reception throughout his career.

While his speed can be a compliment alongside Ruggs, the main concern comes with his injury history. Last year, Brown only played in nine games. On top of that, he only has two 16 game seasons to his name. While none of the injuries he has suffered have been major, the fact he has missed so much time is alarming.

Related: Raiders: Re-Signing Nicholas Morrow’s A Breath of Fresh Air In Puzzling Times

Will Brown fill Agholor’s shoes in 2021?

It’s safe to assume the Raiders will look to Brown to fill the void that Agholor will be leaving. Nelly joined the Raiders on a one-year, prove-it deal last offseason and Brown just did the same. Before 2020, he had never even surpassed the 800-yard mark. However, he had a career year last season, putting up 896 yards on only 48 receptions. Brown could have a similar role.

However, one big difference is that Brown is 30 years old whereas Agholor was only 27. The Pittsburg State Product agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $5.5 million, which is considered very team-friendly. With a base of only $3.75 million, the Raiders are in a low-risk high-reward situation. If Brown comes in remains healthy and produces a high level, they could look to extend him in 2022. If he’s inconsistent in appearances or doesn’t play well they simply move on after this year.

Raiders need a long-term solution

When healthy, Brown can be an excellent addition to any offense. His speed alone poses a threat to most defenses. Also, his experience in the playoffs could help the younger guys should the Raiders reach that plateau. However, the revolving door of veteran receivers needs to be halted.

Ruggs should eventually take up the number one receiver mantle. Hopefully, he takes that step forward in year two. While depth pieces change practically every year, your key pieces shouldn’t. If both Ruggs and Edwards develop into solid players, Brown could be the last veteran brought in to be a focal point in Jon Gruden’s offense

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Top Photo: Emilee Chinn/Getty Images

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