ARIZONA CARDINALS

Arizona Cardinals’ Hollywood Brown could be next in line for big contract

May 21, 2022, 9:55 AM

The Arizona Cardinals made one of the most surprising moves on draft day by trading out of the first round for fourth-year receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown.

While the move filled an important need for the Cardinals at No. 2 wide receiver, it left many NFL executives scratching their heads.

A report by Jeff Howe of The Athletic quoted multiple NFL executives who believe Arizona got the raw end of the deal.

“Baltimore won that one by a lot,” one executive said.

“Bad trade for them. Good trade for us,” another said.

Howe brings up the concern that Brown could be in a position at the end of the season to cash in on a large contract extension at a time when receivers around the league are signing deals upwards of nine figures.

“Marquise Brown is in line to be paid like one of the best receivers in the NFL,” Howe said. “He just had the best season of his career with 91 catches and 1,008 yards but ranked 14th and 26th in those categories.”

The receiver is on the final two years of his original rookie contract.

With a contract extension expected for quarterback Kyler Murray and already having one of the league’s highest paid wide receivers on the books in DeAndre Hopkins, general manager Steve Keim may have to do some major salary shuffling to keep Brown in the mix long term.

The Cardinals could also take the approach of extending their newly acquired player before he plays on the field and ahead of the franchise’s No. 1 overall pick, similar to what the Phoenix Suns did with Landry Shamet.

Another option is to cut bait with the 24-year-old receiver if the production is not there in the first couple of seasons, sacrificing what would have been a first round pick with years of control at a more reasonable salary.

Regardless of what the Cardinals front office decides to do, it will be a fascinating decision to monitor at a position that is becoming more valuable in an evolving NFL.

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