One of the biggest decisions the Las Vegas Raiders have this offseason is what they want to do with Trent Brown. The 2019 Pro Bowler was largely absent for most of the 2020 season as he only played in five games. Considering he’s among the team’s highest-paid players, that’s a serious problem.
The Raiders can get out of his contract this offseason without owing him any money so it’s possible they look to make a change. Vic Tafur of The Athletic recently dropped some insight on Brown’s situation with the team over the past year and it doesn’t look good for the star offensive lineman:
People inside the Raiders facility said that the 6-foot-8 Brown’s weight ballooned to 400 pounds last year (he’s listed at 380 pounds). He missed training camp with a calf injury before tweaking his other calf in the season opener. He then came down with COVID-19 and went on that reserved list a second time after a botched IV before the game in Cleveland led to his hospitalization.
Brown is a large man, to begin with, but getting to 400 pounds is a really bad look for a player who is making so much money.
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Is Brown Committed to Football?
When Brown is on the field, he’s a very special talent. Quarterback Derek Carr thinks he’s the “best in the world.” However, a number of reports have questioned if Brown is truly committed to football. Tafur dropped some more details:
Some Raiders officials, coaches and players question Brown’s commitment and love of football, and he has only played 10 or more snaps in 14 of 32 games with the Raiders. But … the Raiders are using COVID-19 as an umbrella reason that 2020’s 8-8 season should be viewed as a mulligan — from the empty seats at the new stadium to the results on the field — and Brown was indeed sick.
The Raiders can help Brown get his body healthy and his weight down but they can’t force him to love football. The $66 million contract is supposed to ensure he stays committed. Brown is only 27-years-old and could play another decade if his body holds up. If he turns things back around, there could a couple more big contracts on the horizon for him.
Will Raiders Bring Brown Back?
If the Raiders truly believe that Brown doesn’t love football, they might just need to cut him loose. It’s highly unlikely he gets big money from a team after this most recent season. Though, if Las Vegas believes that he just had an off season due to COVID-19, they could run it back with him.
He’s set to make $14 million in 2021, which is significantly less than the $21 million he made in 2020. If Jon Gruden is hoping to replace Brown with another dominant right tackle, he might have to pay more money than they’re going to owe the incumbent. With that taken into consideration, it’s very possible the Raiders do decide to keep him. Great offensive linemen are very expensive and Brown is great when he plays. It might be worth it to give him one more shot.