The 2018 off-season could be Preston Brown’s first crack at the open market. Brown was selected by the Bills in the 3rd round of the 2014 NFL draft.
Since that time, Brown has been on the Bills leaders each year in tackles, never having a season with under 100 tackles. This past season, Brown tied for the NFL lead in tackles with 144.
Brown has been the unfortunate victim of the business of the NFL, or maybe just the business of the Buffalo Bills. In his 4 years he has seen 2 general managers, 3 head coaches, and arguably 4 different defensive coordinators.
Most NFL players are selected by a General Manager or Coach out of the draft, and given the best chance to succeed since they have a specific skill or fit in that system. Brown has managed to adapt to multiple systems, and fend off potential replacements, such as Ragland.
The knock on Brown is that his speed could leave him vulnerable in the NFL. He makes up for that with his football IQ. He’s the son of a football coach, and a captain on the field who has communicated the defense since he was a rookie.
With the current regime, Brown has shown to be one of the high character players the Bills can rely on. When McDermott was announced as head coach, he reached out to Luke Kuechly for advice and input on what to expect to get ahead of the curve.
Anybody can argue that decisions on Tyrod Taylor and Cordy Glenn are going to be the biggest stories of this off-season. I challenge you to think differently, as for McDermott and Beane, who emphasize culture, doing things the right way, and building from within, the decision on Brown will be extremely telling.
Thus far they have shown to sacrifice on field traits of locker room intangibles. Brown may never get faster, but he should only grow in this defense if he gets to stay in 1 defense for 2 years. If they move on from a defensive captain, who is affordable, then who would be the options to replace him?
Lets take a look at a few free agents and draft prospects that would be alternates, if you’re for moving on from Brown.