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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Jan 4, 2012 - 3:17 pm

Levi Brown steps up over second half of season

Levi Brown has been a proverbial punching bag for fans since being drafted No. 5 overall in the 2007 NFL Draft.

Ken Whisenhunt's first pick as a head coach, Brown has been mediocre -- at best -- as both a right and left tackle.

The 27-year-old has been a mainstay on the line for the last five years, though, and is sure to hit the free agent market soon, as the Cardinals are not likely to pick up his option year.

Should the Cardinals bring him back?

Most fans would answer that question with a resounding "no," citing the player's inability to protect the quarterback or avoid penalties. In fact, the phrase "false start, number 75" has been fairly common over the years. However, like the Cardinals, Brown stepped his game up over the second half of the 2011 season.

According to, Brown gave up 10 sacks, five hits and 32 hurries in the team's first 10 games this season, however:

Levi Brown has only given up one sack and eight hurries in the last six games. Think he may be looking to Free Agency?

Therein lies the question for the Cardinals. Has Brown actually turned the corner and become the left tackle the team hoped he would, or did Brown play well in hopes of landing a nice payday? If it's the former, it would be best for the team to keep him around, because quality left tackles are not easy to find and it would be a shame to lose the player just when he's hitting his stride.

But if it's the latter, investing even more money into the player will be as big a mistake as selecting Brown in the first place.


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