Derrick Brown

Tagovailoa, Brown Have Offset Language

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and Panthers defensive lineman Derrick Brown have offset language in their contracts, according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated. So far, they’re the only two first-round picks to have their deals in place, so that’s an indication most of the Top 32 will follow suit. 

Rookie contracts for NFL draft picks are cut-and-dry, for the most part, thanks to the slotting system. However, offset language is usually the biggest barrier to an agreement. If a player with offset language is released midway through the contract and signs elsewhere, the original team is only on the hook for the difference in salary between the two deals. Without offset language, the player can effectively collect two paychecks. Naturally, agents try to preserve that potential earning power while owners push back.

Breer expects just about every first-round pick to make the same concession, except for Jaguars first-round picks C.J. Henderson (No. 9 overall) and K’Lavon Chaisson (No. 20 overall). Historically, the Jaguars have not pushed offsets on players, but most teams do. It would only make sense for teams to insist on offsets, particularly following this truly unprecedented evaluation period. In essence, offset language serves as a bit of insurance against the possibility of a draft bust.

On the whole, the Dolphins are excited about Tagovailoa’s potential, despite his surgically-repaired hip and other past issues on his medical chart. In accordance with his slot at No. 5 overall, he’ll make just over $30MM over the course of a four-year deal. Brown, meanwhile, is set to make just under $24MM over the course of his four year deal with the Panthers. As first round picks, both deals will include fifth-year options. They’ll also come with a bit of extra protection, thanks to the offset language included within.

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Panthers Sign No. 7 Overall Pick Derrick Brown

Derrick Brown was the seventh rookie to come off the board this year and the first to sign his rookie deal. On Friday, the Panthers inked the Auburn defensive tackle to his rookie contract – a four-year, $23.62MM pact, in accordance with his draft slot.

[RELATED: A Look Back At Christian McCaffrey’s Rookie Deal]

Everyone knew the Panthers were targeting defensive players in the draft, but it was still a surprise to see them go defense all throughout draft weekend. Brown was the first one up, placing a promising young talent alongside Kawann Short, a two-time Pro Bowler eager to get back to form after missing the bulk of the 2019 season.

While Short draws lots of attention, Brown will look to be a difference maker, particularly against the run. The Panthers weren’t the only team chasing him – at least a couple clubs inquired on trading into the Top 10 for his services and the Lions reportedly thought about him at No. 3, though they ultimately went with their longtime draft crush Jeff Okudah.

Brown might not have the upside of, say, Isaiah Simmons, a jack-of-all-trades defender with absolutely freakish athleticism, but he was regarded by evaluators as one of the safer picks near the top. With that high floor, he’ll look to justify GM Marty Hurney‘s big decision.

We had them very close together, obviously,” Hurney said of Brown and Simmons after the draft (via “We believed you start building from the front. Derrick not only helps [Short] and the rest of the line… he helps the linebackers. He’s a big, powerful player. He’s got a good first step. He’s a three-down player. He obviously helps against the run, but he really gets push up the middle. ”

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Lions Split On Decision At No. 3 Overall?

A few options will be in play for the Lions at No. 3 overall. Despite their video chats with Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert, one of them does not appear to include using their top pick on a quarterback. But a few other avenues are open.

The Lions are torn between a possible best-player-available pick with Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and bolstering their front seven by taking Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown or Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes.

Earlier this month, Okudah appeared to be Detroit’s preference in the expected event that Washington drafts Chase Young at No. 2. The Lions traded Darius Slay and added Desmond Trufant at corner. However, Detroit ranked 29th in DVOA pass defense with Slay in the fold. Okudah would make sense here — if the Lions do not trade down. That course of action looks to be the way the Lions hope to go, La Canfora adds.

Detroit has engaged in trade-down discussions, and those conversations produced some interest. The Lions, though, are not interested in moving down too far. They would like to add draft capital but still come away with a blue-chip defensive talent, JLC adds. The Lions already have nine picks in this draft, however. Only seven teams possess more.

If the Lions do trade down, they would like to have a deal in place by Thursday afternoon, Bob Quinn said (via the Detroit Free Press’ Dave Birkett, on Twitter). They do not want to make the decision to move down while on the clock in this virtual draft. Quinn confirmed he’s discussed trading down and noted the talks will pick up next week.

The Lions recently added ex-Patriots Jamie Collins and Danny Shelton at the respective positions Simmons and Brown play. The franchise has chosen an offensive player with five of its past six first-round picks, with linebacker Jarrad Davis (2017) being the only break in that trend. They have not taken a defensive tackle in Round 1 since selecting Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley in 2010 and ’11, respectively.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Draft Rumors: Lions, Giants, Dolphins

Here’s the latest NFL Draft buzz from Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller:

  • Miller would be positively stunned if the Bengals don’t draft LSU quarterback Joe Burrow No. 1 overall and the Redskins don’t grab Ohio State defensive end Chase Young with the No. 2 pick.
  • With that in mind, Miller feels the draft truly starts at No. 3 overall, where the Lions pick. Sources tell Miller that they’ll look heavily at Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah and Auburn defensive lineman Derrick Brown. Then again, it’s a prime trade-back spot – teams like the Dolphins, Chargers, and Panthers could move up to land a QB.
  • Unless new head coach Joe Judge sways him in a different direction, Giants GM Dave Gettleman is expected to look at edge-rushers, left tackles, and wide receivers with the No. 4 pick. “He can’t help himself with linemen, so slot your top-rated offensive tackle there,” one scout who previously worked with Gettleman said. Alabama’s Jedrick Wills Jr. and Georgia’s Andrew Thomas rank among the top tackles in this year’s crop.
  • No team has done more work on Oregon’s Justin Herbert than the Dolphins, who own the No. 5 pick and two more selections later on, Miller writes. The Dolphins will almost certainly go QB here, then shift their attention to offensive tackle, edge-rusher, and running back help.
  • The same source who tipped Miller off to the Cardinals‘ love of Kyler Murray last year says they’re wild about Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. But, internally, they also feel that the offensive line need is too big to overlook.
  • The Raiders, with two picks in the first round, are looking to go defense and wide receiver, Miller hears.
  • The Bills are already nervous about other teams leapfrogging them for wide receivers, Miller hears. The Bills own the No. 22 overall pick and nine total selections in the draft.
  • The Patriots are impossible to read, but none of Miller’s sources believe that they’ll draft a quarterback early on. Tom Brady has vowed to continue playing, but he’ll also explore his options in free agency.