The Oakland Raiders are reportedly signing former San Francisco 49ers and New England Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown to a record-breaking contract.
It’s the latest in a long line of personnel mistakes the Raiders have made in recent years, and it could come back to bite them big time.
Brown did take big strides last year, showing he could play on the left side as well as the right while starting all 16 regular-season games and every postseason game for the Patriots.
Yet, just like Nate Solder before him, Brown is nowhere close to being an elite left tackle.
Trent Brown ranked #32 in the NFL among tackles in @PFF grades last year. That's lower than Riley Reiff, who is seen as a problem in Minnesota.
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) March 11, 2019
The reason that Brown is getting his huge payday is that he was stellar in the playoffs. Yet it’s worth pointing out that he’s at his best in the run game, and that Tom Brady and New England’s quick-passing game covered up much of his pass-protecting woes.
What’s even more of a problem for the Raiders is that they’re conceding last year’s first-round pick, Kolton Miller, is not suited to play on the left side and will move him to right tackle in the wake of this signing.
New Raiders LT Trent Brown will take over Raiders’ left tackle job, and former first-round pick Kolton Miller is expected to slide over to righ tackle. Raiders making moves.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 11, 2019
This likely means that Donald Penn is a goner, or that at least he’ll have to take a paycut to remain on the roster.
Back to Brown, Oakland is now pinning its hopes on a left tackle with little experience on that side of the line, and a guy who struggled mightily in his lone season as a full-time starter on that side.
Oakland is looking for a quick fix, and in that pursuit it might have actually made things worse long term. Brown will now be regularly going against the likes of Von Miller, Joey Bosa, and Melvin Ingram. Derek Carr, who has not fully recovered his mojo since breaking his leg, could be doomed.
Throwing big money at Brown has a good chance to end up looking just as bad for the Raiders as Solder’s deal was last year with Big Blue.