Arizona Cardinals’ Expensive Swing On Marquise Brown Needs To Pay Off
Share this

The Arizona Cardinals already invested a premium draft pick to acquire Marquise Brown and may be ready to commit significant financial resources to keep him with the team long term.

Arizona traded their first-round pick in this year’s draft to land Brown, an opening-round selection of the Baltimore Ravens in 2019.

And, according to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the Cardinals will “be compelled” to hand Brown an extension at a time when several receivers have received hugely lucrative contracts. As Howe writes, Brown would therefore be in line to paid like one of the elite wide receivers in the league.

The problem there, however, is that Brown has not produced at a level worthy of such a deal.

His 1,008 receiving yards in 2021 represented a career-high for Brown and his 2,361 yards in his three seasons put him 35th in the NFL in that span.

To further contextualize that production, among the receivers ahead of him on that list are Marvin Jones Jr, Cole Beasley and Robbie Anderson, while Deebo Samuel has racked up 237 more receiving yards than Brown in that time despite playing eight fewer games and last season seeing increased usage in the running game.

Brown does not offer the same versatility as San Francisco 49ers star Samuel, who himself will likely receive a contract with an average annual value of at least $20 million when his impasse with the Niners eventually concludes.

If the Cardinals do hand a contract of similar value to Brown, then they will be betting on head coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Kyler Murray succeeding in coaxing untapped potential and production out of the speedster to justify that kind of outlay.

They are not alone in making such a gamble. The receiver whose contract essentially led to the wideout market exploding, Christian Kirk, was given a four-year, $72 million deal by the Jacksonville Jaguars having recorded 2,312 receiving yards over the past three seasons. The Jags are backing him to become significantly more productive when deployed as a top target for Trevor Lawrence.

Arizona’s hopes of the bet on Brown paying off do have supporting evidence. They had a 1,400-yard receiver in DeAndre Hopkins in 2020 while Kirk had 982 yards and A.J. Green 848 in 2021 in a season that saw Hopkins miss seven games through injury.

The Cardinals also finished ninth in Football Outsiders pass offense DVO

A last season and Murray and Brown have the benefit of having played together at Oklahoma.

Reuniting college teammates is a move that has paid dividends for several teams in recent times but, though Arizona’s passing game was efficient last season, Brown was not. He ranked 81st in Football Outsiders DYAR

, which measures total value, and 78th in DVOA, which measures value per play. His reunion with Murray being successful is far from a sure thing.

Yet with Hopkins suspended for the opening six games of 2022, Brown should get plenty of opportunities early on to prove the Cardinals made the right move.

General manager Steve Keim, Kingsbury and Murray all enter this coming campaign under pressure to deliver after successive seasons in which the Cardinals have faded badly down the stretch.

Doubling down on an already expensive bet on Brown by paying him top of market money would only increase the pressure on Arizona’s brain trust, as well as quarterback Murray.

The Cardinals have in the Kingsbury era made a series of high-profile moves with a view to claiming a playoff win that continues to elude them.

With Brown having just two years—including the fifth-year option—left on his rookie deal, an extension from the Cardinals is likely a formality, and the total eventual opportunity cost means it is a swing that will come under severe scrutiny if it does not pay off.

Share this
You May Also Like

How Food Became Putin's New Strategic Weapon

Russia has used its increased leverage over food exports from Ukraine to…

Crypto’s ongoing crisis is an opportunity for realignment

It’s not a great day to be in crypto. Perhaps you’ve seen…

Warren Buffett-Backed BYD’s EV Sales More Than Tripled In June

A BYD Tang vehicle on sale in Beijing last year. Photographer: Qilai…

Crypto market volatility shows need for ‘enhanced regulatory and law enforcement frameworks’ — BoE

The Bank of England has called for “enhanced” regulations of crypto to…

‘Jurassic World 3’ Tops $800 Million As ‘Lightyear’ Continues To Crash

Austin Butler in Baz Luhrmann’s ‘Elvis’ Warner Bros. In box office news…

The UK ‘Bitcoin Adventure’ shows BTC is a family affair

Bitcoin (BTC) is for everyone: toddlers, kids, hard rockers and even racing…

Singapore crypto exchange freezes withdrawals

Crypto contagion claims another casualty. In a statement, Singapore-based crypto exchange Vauld has…

Despite A Drop In Sales, Coherent Stock Has Managed To Strongly Outperform The S&P 500

UKRAINE – 2021/05/27: In this photo illustration, a Coherent logo seen on…