Moving on in our series of possible free agent offensive tackles that could come to Arizona, I will give you a quick recap. So far we have looked at Tyson Clabo, Jared Gaither, Marshal Yanda and most recently, Doug Free.
Today, we will be looking at a player that most recently played for the Washington Redskins, but before that he was a fantastic left tackle (when healthy) for the New Orleans Saints. When he was traded to Washington, Jammal Brown was pushed to the right side in favor of rookie first round draft pick, Trent Williams.
Brown has said that he would like to play on the blindside, so he may be looking for another team this offseason. If he is able to return to the form that he was in while playing as a Saint (where he made two Pro Bowls) the guy could be a steal in free agency.
But when looking at Jammal's stats from last year, you may notice that he excels as a right tackle as well (he ranks as the 20th best free agent on the CBS top 50 list). After the jump, you will see my reasoning for why the Arizona Cardinals could pursue Jammal Brown in free agency, but why they should also be very cautious.
Jammal Brown is coming off of a rough stretch these past couple of years. During 2009, he had to sit out the entire season with hip and groin issues (which is the type of injury that can linger). When traded from the Saints to the Redskins in the 2010 offseason, Jammal knew that he would now have to get back up to the level he was at after being out of commission for a full season if he wanted to land a lucrative contract for 2011.
In 2010, not only did Brown have to play under Coach Mike Shanahan-- a punishment in it's own-- but he also had to switch back to the right tackle position. He had success there early on in his career, but he was coming back from a big injury, which will make any transition difficult.
However, Brown was able to hold steady and have a pretty good season. He gave up four sacks, five hits and 35 pressures on 555 pass blocking snaps. That is a pressure rate of 7.9%. He played in 15 games, starting 14 of them.
To compare, I will look at Arizona Cardinals current right tackle, Brandon Keith. Keith started nine games before going down with a season ending injury. During his time on the field, he gave up six sacks, six hits and 16 pressures on 349 snaps. His pressure rating was 8%.
Jeremy Bridges, Keith's replacement, started the final seven games of the season at right tackle. His stat line looks like this: three sacks, four hits and ten pressures on 293 snaps. This yields a pressure rating of 5.8%.
Notice how Jammal Brown's pressure rating was almost identical to Brandon Keith's. Yes, Brown was coming back from an injury, but that was Keith's first year starting at the position. Also, Keith is only 26 years old, while Brown is 30 with much more wear and tear.
Here is what Scouts, Inc. has to say about Jammal Brown:
Brown was a mainstay at left tackle for the Saints since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 draft. He missed the 2009 season with injury and was acquired in a trade late spring of 2010. He is a good-sized tackle with excellent balance, body control and athleticism. He does a good job of keeping his pad level down and blocking with leverage. He can kick step out to pick up the speed rusher off the edge and still react and adjust to react to counter moves. While Brown might not be an elite left tackle he certainly provides a quality starter for the Redskins that can provide an experienced lineman on the left side.
You can see his strengths and weaknesses in terms of blocking, but what I get from this excerpt is that Brown may be entering a "journeyman" stage in his career. He is no longer, "elite," but he will be looking for a left tackle contract that would pay him like he is.
Yes, if he could manage to become a good left tackle again, he could be worth something to the Arizona Cardinals. After all, let's not forget how terrible Levi Brown was last season (ten sacks, ten hits and 50 pressures on 642 snaps for a pressure rating of 10.9%). Jammal Brown could be a significant upgrade over Levi, that much is for sure, but Levi is already under contract.
Should the Arizona Cardinals try and sign Jammal Brown? I say no. He is a serviceable veteran that could be a temporary upgrade, but he will cost way too much. Letting Brandon Keith grow as the right tackle and finding a better and younger option for the left side would be a much wiser decision. Maybe I am expecting too much after looking at players such as Doug Free and Jared Gaither.
What do you say Cardinals fans? Should Arizona pursue the services of Jammal Brown?
Highlight video of Keiland Williams running plays vs. the Titans. Keep an eye out for #77, Jammal Brown. You will see that defenders have a difficult time disengaging from him, but Brown also finds himself out of plays too often.