The Saints are signing defensive tackle Malcom Brown to a three-year deal worth up to $15MM, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Ben Volin of the Boston Globe provides additional details, reporting that while Brown’s contract maxes out at $15MM, it’s really a two-year, $10MM pact for all intents and purposes (Twitter link). Brown is guaranteed $7.5MM and will earn $5.5MM in 2019 and $4.5MM in 2020. It’s a solid deal for the Saints, who are adding a former first-round pick to the defensive line.
Brown, 25, started in 51 of his 60 games for the Patriots, including 14 starts last season. This past year, he did not record any sacks, but he was on the field for just 279 pass snaps. In the previous three seasons, Brown managed 8.5 sacks from the interior.
Heading into this week, defensive tackle was a huge need for the Saints. With the Brown deal, they’ve managed to partially fill that gap at a reasonable rate. Sheldon Rankins will serve as the team’s top DT, but questions remain about him, Tyeler Davison and David Onyemata. Rankins suffered a torn Achilles in the NFC title game, Davison is in free agent limbo, and Onyemata may face a suspension after a citation for marijuana possession.
The Patriots, meanwhile, replaced Brown by signing former Jets defensive lineman Mike Pennel for half the price. Pennel’s work in 2018 garnered favorable reviews from the advanced metrics, and he should have an opportunity for an increased workload with New England.
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