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Is John Brown a good fit for the Detroit Lions?

The temporary misery for John Brown could wind up being a blessing in disguise for the Detroit Lions.

John Brown announced through his Instagram that the Buffalo Bills released him, ending his two-year tenure in Buffalo. Many credit Brown, 29, as one of the NFL’s fastest wideouts and a quality option for any quarterback when healthy.

His first year in Buffalo (2019), Brown, 30, caught 72 passes for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns. Unfortunately, this past season, his numbers dropped significantly. Limited to nine games because of injuries, he had 33 catches for 458 yards and three touchdowns. Brown dealt with several injuries, with the most notable one coming in Week 10. He suffered a high-ankle sprain, forcing the Bills to play him on injured reserved. 

Despite a season mired with injuries, Brown returned for the Bills’ season finale and postseason run to the AFC Championship. However, his contributions were not very significant. In the Bills’ three playoff games, Brown only recorded ten catches for 86 yards.

Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Buffalo Bills wide receiver John Brown (15) runs with the ball as Baltimore Ravens cornerback Anthony Averett (23) closes in during the second half of an AFC Divisional Round playoff game at Bills Stadium. The Buffalo Bills won 17-3. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Brown’s release isn’t that much of a shock. 

Bills’ rookie Gabriel Davis had a rookie season that made Brown expendable, tallying 599 yards and seven touchdowns. The Bills saved close to $8 million by releasing the veteran wideout. 

Brown is getting up there in age. It also doesn’t help that he’s had bad health over the past several years. Brown could be the odd man out for many teams with free agency crowded with talented wide receivers. Wideouts such as Kenny Golladay, Will Fuller, Antonio Brown, and many others will garner recognition, especially from contenders. 

One more thing going against Brown is that there is a talented pool of wide receivers in this year’s draft, and teams may want to look at younger options. So it’s a possibility that Brown may have to settle for an opportunity where he won’t get paid as much but could have his most significant impact. 

Insert the Detroit Lions.

The Lions’ cap room situation is not a pretty sight. So far, they’ve attempted to trade backup QB Chase Daniels, who is someone the Lions arguably shouldn’t have signed in the first place. In addition to that, they opted against using the franchise tag on Kenny Golladay or Romeo Okwara, moves that have been met with mixed reviews by their fanbase. 

Golladay’s departure creates a massive void for the cash-strapped Lions. 

With Brown on the market, the Lions should monitor his situation closely. While signing another receiver with questionable health isn’t ideal, the Lions are in a position where “beggars can’t be choosers.” 

Earlier this week, the Lions signed Tyrell Williams. Williams, 29, comes to the Motor City with a checkered health history as well. However, because of that, the Lions were able to sign him to an incentive-laden deal worth up to $6.25 million. The Lions need to add more weapons for the incoming Jared Goff. It should be a top priority.

Furthermore, adding cheap options as the franchise “retools” should be the primary goal.  

If the Lions land Brown, they’d have another low-risk, high-reward option. While it’s too early to determine if the Lions would have any interest in Brown, it’s worth wondering if they should. 

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