The Oakland Raiders made another big splash Monday, agreeing to sign free agent offensive tackle Trent Brown to a four-year deal worth a record $66 million.
Brown will receive $36.75 million guaranteed in the richest contract ever for an offensive lineman, according to a person familiar with the contract. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal can’t be finalized until the new league year starts Wednesday.
The Raiders have gotten a big head start on rebuilding a team that won just four games in coach Jon Gruden’s first season back on the sideline. Oakland previously agreed to send third- and fifth-round draft picks to Pittsburgh for star receiver Antonio Brown and to give him a three-year, $50.125 million deal, a person familiar with the deal said on condition of anonymity because the trade can’t be finalized until Wednesday.
By adding one of the top pass-blocking tackles and the game’s most prolific receiver, the Raiders are giving quarterback Derek Carr the help he lacked last season when he struggled in his first year in Gruden’s offense.
The move to sign Brown comes less than a year after Oakland spent two high draft picks on tackles who struggled as rookies. The Raiders allowed 52 sacks, tied for fifth-most in the league, as left tackle Kolton Miller and right tackle Brandon Parker were overpowered at times against NFL competition.
According to Pro Football Focus, the Raiders tackles allowed 30 sacks in pass protection last season for the most in the NFL, while Brown gave up just three in 580 pass blocking snaps.
Brown has experience playing on both the left and right side but with the money he is getting from Oakland it appears more likely he would line up on the left to protect Carr’s blind side. Miller played both right and left tackle at UCLA and could move back to the right side with Parker offering insurance behind both.
The Raiders also have agreed to trade former starting left guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets when the league year starts, a person familiar with the trade said on condition of anonymity.
The mammoth Brown, who stands at 6-foot-8, 380 pounds, went from a seventh-round draft pick by San Francisco in 2015 to a record-setting contract this offseason after starring in the playoffs for New England last season on the way to a Super Bowl title.
Brown was at his best in the playoffs, including shutting down the edge rushers for the Chargers and Kansas City in playoff wins before the Patriots won the Super Bowl against the Rams. Oakland plays the Chargers and Chiefs twice each every season in the AFC West and Carr was sacked 13 times in those games last season.