Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick fumbles as he is hit by Seattle Seahawks'
Chad Brown during the first quarter in Seattle Sunday Jan. 2, 2005. (AP Photo/John
Chad Brown - Another Steal for the Patriots
Doug Farrar, Seahawks.net
As reported by Mike Sando of the Tacoma News Tribune
(and confirmed by New England reporter Mike Reiss of the Metro West Daily News),
the New England Patriots have once again shown their mastery of the NFL’s
financial constraints and complexities. The latest player to fall under the spell
of Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli is former Seahawks OLB Chad Brown.
reportedly refused an offer from the Seahawks to restructure his contract - an
offer that would have paid him approximately $1 million plus incentives for the
2005 season. But as these reports show, Brown’s deal with New England is
for two years and $2.35 million, with a $485,000 signing bonus. Brown's base salaries
are $765,000 in 2005 and $800,000 in 2006, In addition, the Patriots will pay
Brown a $100,000 roster bonus in 2005 and a $200,000 roster bonus in 2006. According
to Reiss, Brown's salary cap hit for 2005 is $1.1 million. There are also unspecified
incentives, which could conceivably spike the total deal to the $4 million total
that had been previously reported by Seahawks.NET and several other news sources.
When asked why he accepted the
Patriots' offer amidst so much interest (he was being courted by Pittsburgh, Denver
and New Orleans as well), Brown cited Belichick's creativity. He also said that
he is up to the challenge of learning the complex schemes the Patriots use to
confuse the rest of the NFL into submission. "I've played in a 3-4, I've
played in a 4-3 and I've played end in the nickel and linebacker in the nickel,"
Brown told Reiss. "In my conversation with Coach Belichick, I was definitely
under the impression that I would get to play a few different spots and that's
a role I'm very comfortable in."
"I know the Patriots
are inventive, but I can't imagine a role, or a coverage or style of play that
I haven't played before," he said. "Some of the terminology might be
different, but other than bridging the language difference, I don't see much of
Seattle's defense, ranked 26 th in the NFL
last season and mired in a sea of sameness from a playbook perspective, may have
been unacceptable to a man who former Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter Les
Carpenter once called "one of the smartest players I've ever met."
Patriot Way, lined with Lombardi trophies as it is, now has another talented player
in its ranks – another player who accepted less money to play in New England
than he may have received elsewhere.
Brown originally signed
a six-year, $24 million contract with the Seahawks in 1997 and re-signed with
the team in 2002 for five more years and $28.5 million. He was scheduled to make
$4.2 million with the Seahawks in 2005, but his age (he will turn 35 in July)
and recent injury history (he played in only 13 games over the last two seasons)
had Seattle thinking about restructuring his contract. When Brown balked at Seattle’s
offer, the Seahawks decided to release him and use the immediate $2.37 million
in cap relief to assist them in signing former Texans linebacker Jamie Sharper
and former Titans cornerback Andre Dyson.
Brown has but three
playoff losses to show for his eight-year term in Seattle. In those eight years,
Brown played in 107 games starting 106 and recorded 745 tackles
(586 solo), 31 passes defensed, 48 sacks, 11 forced fumbles, 13 fumble recoveries,
and 3 interceptions.
If he can stay healthy, Chad Brown will
provide a stellar pass rush presence to a team that already has terrorized its
share of quarterbacks. Brown acknowledged the concerns regarding his injury history,
but he also mentioned that he’s ready to let it fly in his new home. "Obviously,
I missed some time last season with a broken leg, but I think a broken leg is
different than say a damaged knee or a disc in the back that is going to slow
you down over time. The bone is healed and I missed (nine games), so I actually
feel fresher, stronger and in better shape than I did at this point last offseason.
I feel fantastic. I'm truly ready to go."
If this is
the case, the New England Patriots' ubergenius Belichick and twice-consecutive
NFL Executive of the Year Pioli - may have outdone even themselves. And Chad Brown
may be well on his way to the Super Bowl ring that has eluded him throughout his
12-year NFL career.
Chad Brown and the Pittsburgh Media :: Chad
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