An eventual Marquise Brown contract extension will likely be very expensive for the Arizona Cardinals. However, after trading a first-round pick for him and picking up his fifth-year option, the franchise may have no other choice.
Brown is a player whose talents and production as a pass-catcher seem to only be trending upward. During three seasons in Baltimore, the 2019 Ravens’ first-round pick has improved every season and 2021 was his best yet. Last year, the 24-year-old caught 91 passes for 1,008 yards — his first 1,000-yard season — and six touchdowns.
The trend toward Pro Bowl potential is why the Arizona Cardinals traded the 23rd pick in April’s draft to acquire the talented wide receiver. If he could put up those numbers while catching balls from Lamar Jackson, his numbers are sure to increase with Kyler Murray as his quarterback in 2022. Not to mention, following the recent suspension of top receiver DeAndre Hopkins, Brown will be the team’s primary receiver for much of the early part of the season and be able to pad his stats.
However, despite all the positives, many executives around the league felt the Cardinals were the losers on draft night. In a Friday piece in The Athletic, NFL writer Jeff Howe suggests that Brown “is in line to be paid like one of the best receivers in the NFL” in the near future. And with him and Murray having history from their days at Oklahoma, paying Brown may be a top priority to keep their QB happy and in Arizona long-term.
Possible Marquise Brown contract extension scenarios
So how might a contract extension look? To get an idea, you have to analyze some of the major contract extensions given out this offseason. Since the recent past often affects the immediate future in sports deals. In being traded from the Packers to the Raiders, Davante Adams landed a new five-year, $141 million deal. Superstar Tyreek Hill was given a four-year, $120 million extension when he was shipped off from Kansas City to Miami in March. However, Brown is not that caliber player just yet.
- Marquise Brown contract: two seasons, $15 million left ($2m in 2022, $13m in 2023)
Two deals in his possible range could be the five-year $100 million ($60 million guaranteed) the Cowboys gave Amari Cooper — before being traded to the Browns a couple of months ago. Another option is what AJ Brown received from the Eagles after his draft night trade from the Titans. That being another four-year $100 million deal with $57. 2 million guaranteed.
Both the Brown and Cooper deals are the starting points for an eventual Marquise Brown extension in Arizona since the aforementioned players both had similar amounts of tenure in the NFL when those deals went down. With the Cardinals likely to let the next two seasons on their new pass catchers contract playout — for $2 million in 2022 and $13 million in 2023 — look for the team to make a move on a long-term deal next offseason.
When they do, a five-year, $120 million deal with $70 million guaranteed, or a four-year, $100 million deal with a higher guarantee, perhaps $80 million, seems likely.