With NFL teams required to trim their rosters to 53 players, the Las Vegas Raiders cut veteran wideout John Brown, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Brown, who joined the team as a free agent in March, requested a release.
Because Brown has four-plus years of NFL experience, he will not go through the waiver system and can sign with any team once his release becomes official. The move will create a dead-money hit of $3.24 million on the Raiders’ books for 2021 and free a little under $300,000 in cap space, according to Over the Cap.
WR John Brown release: Fantasy football fallout
A former third-round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, Brown established himself as one of the NFL’s more dangerous deep threats early in his career. The wideout delivered four seasons with double-digit receptions of 20-plus yards, topping out at 17 such plays in 2019 with the Buffalo Bills. That vertical element made him an attractive option for the Raiders, who have worked to amass deep threats over the past few years.
However, that stockpile of speed created a crowded receiving corps and fewer opportunities for Brown to play, perhaps explaining his request for a release. The Raiders appeared unlikely to give Brown work over Henry Ruggs III, the No. 12 overall pick in 2020. A strong camp from Bryan Edwards and other wideouts made Brown expendable.
With Brown out of the picture, Ruggs has no real competition for his role in the offense. However, with Derek Carr under center, the Raiders’ ability to capitalize on Ruggs’ talents remains uncertain.