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2019 NFL Free Agency

QB’s WORST NIGHTMARE: A Closer Look at Newly-Signed Free Agent Saints Defensive Tackle Malcom Brown

When the news broke this morning that the New Orleans Saints and 18th year-veteran QB Drew Brees had agreed to restructure his contract to free up $10.8 million dollars in additional salary cap space for the organization to spend on Free Agency, Saints fans knew well in advance that the team was about to make a significant move in the signing period's ongoing "1st Wave".

However, while that player they signed —  former University of Texas consensus All-American, New England Patriots 2015 1st Round draft pick, and 2-time Super Bowl champion DT Malcom Brown — wasn't necessarily one on the radar of most loyal or knowledgeable Who Dats that follow the team loyally, he provides the Saints with an immediate upgrade for the interior of their defensive line.

Mandatory Credit: Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

More importantly however: although Brown can play the 3-Technique DT position that Sheldon Rankins normally does, Brown figures to be the likely long-term replacement for the Black and Gold at the Nose Tackle / 1-Technique position in place of 4th year veteran Tyeler Davsion, who is expected to leave New Orleans in seek of another opportunity elsewhere.

As first reported by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport, New Orleans and Brown have agreed to a 3-year contract that will pay the 25-year old a grand total of $15 million over 3 years, or $5 million per season.

The 6-foot-2, 320 pound Brenham, Texas native (70 miles north of Houston) was the Pats’ first-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft (32nd overall), and won two Super Bowl titles during his four year tenure in New England.

The former Longhorn and unanimous 2014 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year made 60 regular season appearances as a member of Bill Belechick's defense, becoming a vitally important contributor within the interior of their D-Line. Brown finishes the Patriots portion of his blossoming career having accumulated 186 tackles, 8.5 sacks and a forced fumble, all to his credit.

Brown was one of the more solid defenders for New England throughout the Playoffs a few months ago, and some observers felt that his capability to beat double teams by offensive linemen indirectly ended up becoming a key reason for the Patriots' eventual success near the end of the season that propelled them into the post-season with momentum.

Brown played 20 of 65 snaps as part of a 3-man rotation at the 0 / 1 Technique spot in New England's eventual 13-3 win over the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII last month. Brown appeared in 18 total games (15 regular season and 3 playoffs games); and played in 41.3% defensive snaps, as well as 11.0% of the special teams snaps for the Patriots in 2018-19. He finished the Regular Season with 43 tackles, 1 fumble recovery, 1 quarterback hit, and 3 quarterback pressures.

As it turns out: Brown comes to NOLA having been a disruptive force in the interior of many a D-Line, for the majority of his playing career up to this point.

Photo courtesy of Brenham High School Athletic Department

Brown emerged early as a 3-sport star-athlete in football, basketball and track, but very quickly made his mark as a 3-year starter within the interior of the Cubs D-Line, as he recorded 125 tackles and 24 sacks during the course of his high school football career. As a direct result of his at-times dominating performances against smaller O-Linemen, the folks at Rivals.com listed him as a 5-Star recruit and additionally he was ranked as the 5th-best defensive tackle in the entire 2011 High School class.

It was then that several colleges attempted to woo him with a variety of offers, but Brown ultimately chose to remain close to home and accepted a scholarship offer from the University of Texas football program.

As a true freshman in the 2012 Season, Brown played in all 13 games, and quietly managed to put up 25 tackles. Brown then wasted little time taking over as the brand new starter at Nose Tackle for Texas during the 2013 Season as a sophomore, starting in all 13 games and finished that season with 68 tackles and 2 sacks.

However, it was during the 2014 College Football Season when it "all came together" for Brown. 

The young man nicknamed "a quarterback's worst nightmare" finished his junior (and ultimately final) season at Austin with 70 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks and was a first-team All-Big 12 selection by The Associated Press. Additionally, Brown  earned consensus All-American honors and was even named a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Trophy (best defensive player in college football), along with the Outland Trophy (best defensive lineman).

Brown finished that unforgettable year as the Longhorns' season leader in tackles for loss, sacks, and forced fumbles; and was unanimously chosen as the 2014 Big 12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts.

After his junior season, Brown eventually decided to enter the 2015 Draft, and as they say: the rest is history.

Now Brown brings his talents to Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen's scheme, as the obvious choice to replace Davison; who it's assumed will sign elsewhere.

It also means that when Sheldon Rankins is fully recovered from his surgery for a torn Achilles tendon; he along with David Onyemta and now Malcom Brown, can potentially give the interior of the Saints defensive line, a big-time boost — as the Black and Gold attempt to make another run at a Super Bowl title with a young man who's already done it twice before....

 

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Big Easy Magazine contributing writer and Saints News Network columnist Barry Hirstius is a 51-year old semi-retired journalist, former New Orleans-area sports editor, and writer previously with several sites that exclusively cover the New Orleans Saints football team. Additionally, he is a recurring guest on a variety of local Sports Talk Radio programs. Barry is also a New Orleans native who grew up as a fan of the team while attending games as a young boy at the old Tulane Stadium in the early 1970’s, originally following and now covering the team for a span of over 40 plus years. And perhaps most importantly of all: he is the Grandfather of two beautiful young girls, Jasmine and Serenity.....

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