ARIZONA CARDINALS

Tyvon Branch, John Brown crack NFL.com’s top 101 free agent list

Feb 26, 2018, 2:15 PM

In a latest ranking of the top free agents in the NFL, two Arizona Cardinals found themselves right in the mix.

With free agency right around corner, NFL.com’s Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling broke down the top 101 free agents available, highlighting Cardinals wide receiver John Brown and safety Tyvon Branch.

With 17 Cardinals set to test free agency, Brown and Branch were the only two to make the cut, coming in at No. 52 and No. 72, respectively.

WR John Brown – No. 52

(AP Photo/John Cordes)

Like so many intriguing free agents, Brown has a history of injuries that makes him a boom-or-bust option. He hasn’t been quite right since his 1,000-yard season in 2015.

Brown saw his production increase from 2014 to 2015, but has since seen a big dropoff in almost every receiving category.

Thanks in part to injuries and the quarterback situation, Brown has’t been able to replicate his 65-catch and 1,003-yard effort from 2015. Last season, he failed to reach 300 yards and played in just 10 games for the Cardinals.

When he did get the ball he averaged 14.2 yards a catch, but saw a career-low in targets with 56 — down 45 from 2015.

His total yards ranked him 147th in the NFL among pass catchers — one spot lower than Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette and tied with Atlanta Falcons running back Tevin Coleman.

His best game of the season came in Week 6, where he caught three balls for 63 yards and a 31-yard touchdown.

S Tyvon Branch – No. 72

(AP Photo/Michael Perez)

Defensive coordinator James Bettcher knew just how to use Branch’s ability to cover tight ends. Don’t be surprised if Branch follows Bettcher to Big Blue.

Like Brown, the injury bug hampered Branch’s availability as the 10-year vet only played in nine games for Arizona after playing in just six in 2016.

But when he was on the field, he made the snaps count, registering at least seven tackles in the first five games and either leading the team or recording the second-most tackles in all but two games in which he played.

In Week 3’s 28-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys, Branch had his best performance of the season, making a game-leading 12 tackles. The next closest Cardinal was Tyrann Mathieu with four tackles.

Looking at the rest of the free agents on the list, much-talked about quarterback Kirk Cousins — who has been the subject of conversation in Arizona — sits atop the rankings, while quarterback Jay Cutler rounds out the list at No. 101.

The free agent frenzy officially begins March 14.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Zach Wilson, Jets quarterback...

Associated Press

Broncos trade for Jets’ Zach Wilson, could remain in QB market during 2024 NFL Draft

Zach Wilson was expected to be the face of the franchise for the New York Jets. Now he's been traded to the Denver Broncos.

6 hours ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort...

Arizona Sports

Report: Cardinals GM told rivals he won’t consider trading draft pick until on the clock

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort reportedly told rival executives he won't agree to a trade before he's on the clock in the NFL Draft.

10 hours ago

Monti Ossenfort speaks at the NFL Combine...

Tyler Drake

NFL mock draft tracker: What will the Cardinals do with the No. 4 pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 4 overall in the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft.

11 hours ago

Monti Ossenfort...

Arizona Sports

Lance Zierlein: If Cardinals trade No. 4 pick, expect them to move back up

It is become popular in mock drafts for the Cardinals move off the No. 4 pick, which is where longtime NFL.com analyst Lance Zierlein landed.

1 day ago

Arizona Cardinals fans...

Arizona Sports

Did the Chargers GM tease a Cardinals draft-day trade?

The Cardinals are not looking for a quarterback, but Chargers GM Joe Horitz said his team could have its pick of the top non-QB in the draft.

3 days ago

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort talks to reporters...

Tyler Drake

Monti Ossenfort keeping trade options open as Cardinals’ draft board nears completion

The Arizona Cardinals have about 95% of their draft board completed about a week out from the NFL Draft and continue to look at all avenues.

4 days ago

Tyvon Branch, John Brown crack NFL.com’s top 101 free agent list