Las Vegas Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown was the highest-paid player on the roster in 2020, making $21.5 million. He also was a relative disappointment for the team, suiting up for just five games out of a possible 16.
Brown was brought in a couple of offseasons ago to protect Derek Carr, signing the biggest free-agent contract for an offensive lineman in league history at the time.
Because of his inability to stay on the field, decisions have to made about his future with the team. Brown is slated to make $14 million with the Raiders in 2021, a significant decrease from his 2020 salary. However, the Raiders can cut him anytime before the season begins without having to pay him a dime as he is owed zero guaranteed money.
While no decision is even close to happening, some troubling rumors regarding Brown’s weight and health during training camp and the regular season may help feed into the front office’s final call, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic:
People inside the Raiders facility said that the 6-foot-8 Brown’s weight ballooned to 400 pounds last year (he’s listed at 380 pounds). He missed training camp with a calf injury before tweaking his other calf in the season opener. He then came down with COVID-19 and went on that reserved list a second time after a botched IV before the game in Cleveland led to his hospitalization.
While some of the issues he faced in 2020 were not his fault, these are still far from ideal things to hear about a tackle that could make $35 million in two seasons with the team without ever making a significant impact. Perhaps the drop from $21.5 to $14 million will make the Raiders give him a second chance in a season that will look a lot more normal.
However, cutting him would free up cap space, something the Raiders are in equally desperate need of. They currently sit $23.5 million over the cap and would have to cut several players to get to a point where they can get new free agents on the team.
JuJu Smith-Schuster expresses interest in Raiders
One of the biggest names tied to the Raiders in free agency is wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers. He recently mentioned potentially wanting to join the Raiders in a Twitch live stream.
In order to pay Smith-Schuster a contract he’d actually accept, Brown may be one of the people on the chopping block prior to the beginning of free agency.