Resign or let him walk: Jatavis Brown

Oct 13, 2016; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Jatavis Brown (57) gestures from the field during the second half of the game against the Denver Broncos at Qualcomm Stadium. San Diego won 21-13. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Resign or Let Walk- Jatavis Brown

By: Adam Sadigh

It’s hard sometimes to put an accurate assessment on a certain player when you know all the talent and upside is there yet they haven’t quit lived up to the hype and or found a clear cut role on a team. Today we’ll be focusing on 2016 5th round draft pick, linebacker, Jatavis Brown.  Let’s get into it!

Let’s start with the pros:

2016. It wasn’t too long after the 2016 season when analysts were giving their redrafts for the 2016 draft. After a stellar season, Brown found his way being redrafted in the first round in multiple articles. This just goes to show the talent and upside Brown has. In 2016, Brown started 7 games, recording 6 pass deflections, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery, 3.5 sacks, and 79 tackles (8 of which being a tackle for loss). That season led many to believe that Bosa and Brown would end up rejuvenating the defense. With that in mind, many fans are left to wonder if Brown can return to his All-Rookie team form (in which he posted a 77.6 overall PFF grade). 

Linebacker is a position of need for the Chargers. With Thomas Davis and Denzel Perryman playing on their last year under contract, and Nick Dzubnar set to be a free agent, it may be in the team’s best interests to resign Jatavis Brown to at least be a depth piece. Not to mention the fact that the linebacker play has been suspect, the team may want to give Brown one more chance to see if he can return to his 2016 form. 

Cons:

Brown has been a healthy scratch for the latter half of the 2019 season. With the emergence of 2019 4th round pick, Drue Tranquill, the Chargers had no need for Jatavis Brown other than to serve as depth. Even Nick Dzubnar was active for more games because of his special teams abilities. 

The numbers don’t work in his favor. The Chargers currently have 7 linebackers on the roster (Thomas Davis Sr., Denzel Perryman, Uchenna Nwosu, Drue Tranquill, Kyzir White, Emeke Egbule, and Malik Jefferson). The Chargers may choose to bring back Dzubnar because of his special teams abilities. That makes 8, which is the amount of linebackers the Chargers usually carry into a game. The Chargers seem to be hinting at something. They want fast rangy linebackers. This can be evidenced through the fact that they converted former safeties (Drue Tranquill and Kyzir White) into linebackers. Jatavis Brown doesn’t exactly fit that role (31.8 coverage grade according to PFF). The Chargers may fill this role through the draft, free agency, or they may feel comfortable with the talent currently on the roster. They may feel like they have something special in former 2018 3rd round pick, Malik Jefferson. Any way they choose to address the position, the safe bet is, Brown is not going to be in their plans. 

Brown has steadily regressed. Through 4 seasons, Brown has gone from a solid starter to someone you hope never touches the field (77.6, 68.3, 53.4, and 29.4 respectively according to PFF). The league is always evolving and if you’re not then…

Verdict: Let Walk

This is a tough one for me. I remember watching Brown ball out and thinking that he and Bosa were going to be the start of something great on defense. Simply put, Brown has been replaced by younger, more talented players and there’s no reason to keep him on the roster. Hopefully Brown can find success in a similar 3-4 system to the one that he found All-Rookie success with in 2016. 

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