Former Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown is once again looking for a job.
Brown, who was Josh Allen’s top target in the 2019-20 season, was released from the Jacksonville Jaguars’ practice squad this week. This marks the third team that has released Brown since the end of training camp, leaving the once-speedy veteran without a team once again.
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Brown Looking for a Team
As John Shipley of SI.com’s Jaguar Report noted, Brown was released after appearing in two games for the Jaguars. He played only seven total snaps during those games and received two total targets, though did not catch either of them. As the report noted, the Jaguars have been trying to find a steady wide receiver, having also signed and later released Phillip Dorsett and Tyron Johnson. The team had hoped Brown could show off some of the deep threat ability that he had with the Bills, but Shipley noted that it just didn’t work out.
“Jacksonville’s deep passing game has been an issue all year long, but Brown never turned out to be the in-season solution the Jaguars were hoping for, even after Jamal Agnew’s injury,” the report noted.
The Bills let Brown leave in free agency last offseason, and he signed a two-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders. As Nick Wojton of USA Today’s Bills Wire noted, Brown asked the team to be released following the conclusion of training camp, and the Raiders granted his wish.
Brown later signed with the Denver Broncos, but his short tenure once again ended at Brown’s request.
“WR John Brown had used up his 2 practice squad elevations and with [wide receiver Jerry] Jeudy return, Broncos weren’t going to bring Brown up to 53,” reported KUSA-TV’s Mike Klis. “So per source Brown asked for his release from practice squad.”
Brown was the No. 1 receiver for the Bills during the 2019 season, making 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. Brown also had a memorable touchdown pass, throwing to running back Devin Singletary in the team’s Thanksgiving win over the Dallas Cowboys. Brown was slowed by injury in his second year with the Bills, catching 33 passes for 458 yards and three touchdowns as Stefon Diggs and Cole Beasley surpassed him in targets in 2020.
Bills Welcome New Speedster to Roster
While Brown searches for a new team, the Bills have brought in a new wide receiver who could fill Brown’s role as a field-stretching speedster. Rookie Marquez Stevenson, who started the year on injured reserve, was activated for the team’s Thanksgiving night game against the New Orleans Saints. Stevenson took over for Isaiah McKenzie as the team’s kick and punt returner.
It’s not clear if Stevenson could take over the role on a permanent basis. Though McKenzie has struggled with ball security as a returner, Bills head coach Sean McDermott said he remained confident in his abilities.
“I’m confident in Isaiah as a returner,” McDermott said via video conference after McKenzie lost a costly fumble in a loss to the Indianapolis Colts. “As a team we have to take better care of the football. Hard to win not taking care of the ball.”