Over the course of his seven-year NFL career, Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown has played on three different teams, but for the first four years, he got to play alongside one of the greatest wide receivers of all-time in Larry Fitzgerald.
Since leaving Arizona for Baltimore in 2018, Brown hasn’t had the opportunity to go back West and play against his former team, until now and he said he was pretty excited to see his former teammates. In his media availability on Thursday, Brown also expressed his excitement to meet up with Fitzgerald again even though they’ve kept in touch since he left.
“I gotta be on the lookout for him though,” Brown said. “He’s known to tackle people after the game.”
During his time in Arizona, Brown was a ‘burner.’ He was known for beating defenses deep and opening up underneath routes for guys like Fitzgerald and others. During his time in Arizona, he averaged 14.5 yards per reception and earned his first 1,000 yard receiving year in 2015, his second year in the league.
Fitzgerald had a big impact on Brown’s career, both on the field and off of it, as he took him under his wing and taught him the ropes throughout their time together. So heading back to Arizona is a little more than just a business trip for Brown.
“He texts me every now and then and he’s been a big part of my career,” Brown said. “We’ve stayed in touch since I went to Baltimore and he definitely means a lot to my career. I’m just thankful to have had to opportunity to play there and be around one of the great receivers of all-time that will definitely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.”
‘Smoke’ Brown in Buffalo
After racking up over 2,500 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns in Arizona, Brown signed a one-year contract with Baltimore in 2018 worth $5 million. He caught 42 passes on 97 targets for 715 yards and five touchdowns. But after the season he decided to test the open market once again and landed in Buffalo on a 3-year, $27 million contract.
He gave Josh Allen a No. 1 receiver in 2019 and a weapon that allowed him to become more comfortable in 2019. In just his first season, Brown recorded his second season with over 1,000 yards receiving as the Bills made the playoffs for the second time in three years. Even though the Bills brought in former Minnesota Vikings receiver Stefon Diggs in the offense, Brown means more now more than ever.
Two No. 1 Receivers
With Stefon Diggs and John Brown, the Bills basically have two No. 1 receiver and when you add Cole Beasley into the mix, Buffalo has one of the best receiving corps in the league.
The Bills currently have the fourth-most receiving yards in the league at 2,493 and average 277 yards per game through the air. They also have the fifth-most receiving touchdowns in the NFL.
Of Buffalo’s nine games this season, Brown has played in seven of them and has tallied 314 yards and two touchdowns while being hampered by injuries. As he returns to full strength he’ll play a big role in the Bills offense moving forward.