Cardinals WR John Brown heading into crucial contract year

Jun 27, 2017, 12:37 PM | Updated: 2:58 pm
Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) escapes the tackle of Los Angeles Rams cornerback E...

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver John Brown (12) escapes the tackle of Los Angeles Rams cornerback E.J. Gaines (33) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

Cardinals wide receiver John Brown enters the upcoming season in a contract year. He struggled last season after being diagnosed with and attempting to manage sickle cell trait.

Brown said a cyst was found on his spine, and once the season was over, the cyst was drained and he felt better instantly. Last year the concern was more about hydration, oxygen and giving him days off during the week.

In 2016, he finished with career lows of 39 receptions, 517 yards, and two touchdowns compared to 2015, when he had 65 catches, over 1,000 receiving yards and seven touchdowns.

After top wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, the Cardinals are looking for Brown to be the No. 2 wideout based on the current roster and provide the offense with a downfield threat that was missing a year ago. Others that could give him competition at the position are Jaron Brown, who is coming off a torn ACL, and J.J. Nelson, who has become a better route runner.

Considering his production, age and size, one comp you could look at for John Brown is Colts’ receiver T.Y. Hilton, who has doubled Brown’s stats since he was drafted in the third-round a year earlier. In 2015, Hilton signed a five-year, $65 million contract extension with Indianapolis, including a $10 million signing bonus, $28 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $13 million.

Per “The first step in evaluating is to identify players of the same position, with similar playing time and opportunity, who signed a contract around Brown’s (27) current age.”

Here are some:

Seahawks Doug Baldwin (27): 4-years $46,000,000, $11,500,000 per year

Raiders Michael Crabtree (28): 4-years $34,000,000, $8,500,000 per year

Falcons Mohamed Sanu (26): 5- years $32,500,000, $6,500,000 per year

Chargers Travis Benjamin (26): 4-years $24,000,000, $6,000,000 per year

It will be interesting to see what kind of numbers Brown accumulates in 2017 considering it is the final year of his contract.

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