This past Monday, the Arizona Cardinals made a loud and clear announcement to the rest of the National Football League. By signing outstanding defensive end J.J. Watt, the organization basically let it be known that it’s Super Bowl or bust in 2021. With quarterback Kyler Murray still performing on an affordable rookie contract, the Cards have a short window to put as many talented pieces around their superstar signal-caller as possible.
With that in mind, why should the Cardinals front office stop with the acquisition of the sensational Watt? Rumor has it that the Oakland Raiders may be willing to part with their stud right tackle. A mauling blocker who is just two seasons removed from a Pro Bowl campaign.
Trent Brown, a veteran who’s entering his seventh year in the NFL, would be a fantastic addition to the Arizona offensive line. The team’s starter at right tackle last fall, Kelvin Beachum, is an unrestricted free agent. The Cards have a couple of in-house candidates who are being considered for that position (Justin Murray, Josh Jones), but Brown’s track record indicates that he’d be a better option than both of them.
Back in 2015, the San Francisco 49ers found a gem in the seventh round of that year’s draft. The 6’8, 380 pound Brown was selected 244th-overall, out of the University of Florida. The talented lineman would go on to appear in 31 games (28 starts) over three campaigns for the 49ers, before being involved in a trade that would yield terrific results for the mammoth blocker.
In April of 2018, San Francisco traded Brown to the New England Patriots. The Texas native was moved to left tackle by his new squad, and would protect quarterback Tom Brady’s blindside for the entire year. Brown’s role as a starter would continue into the playoffs for the Patriots, and would conclude with the franchise’s 13-3 victory over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII.
With a Super Bowl ring on his finger, Brown took his talents to the Oakland Raiders in 2019. The free agent was paid handsomely, inking a four-year, $66 million contract with his third professional team. Brown was moved back to right tackle, and allowed just one sack in 326 pass-blocking snaps for the Raiders in 2019.
The Raiders moved to Las Vegas in 2020, but the first season in the desert was hardly a memorable one for Brown. Thanks to COVID-19, the 27-year old played in just five contests for the “Silver and Black”. Brown actually had a couple of setbacks due to the coronavirus, and was even hospitalized for a brief time while in Cleveland for a clash with the Browns.
Despite the disappointing campaign last year, Brown is still considered one of the best offensive tackles in pro football. Arizona’s salary-cap space will dwindle now that Watt is on board, but there are certainly ways to create more room if they need it. Acquiring a player with Brown’s ability would put the club one step closer to the Vince Lombardi Trophy that has eluded the Cardinals for far too long.