Brown is signing a one-year contract with the Bengals, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com reports.
A 2014 third-round pick, Brown tied for the NFL lead with 144 tackles last season, but he didn't have a hand in any sacks or turnovers. His tackle totals have gone up each year in the league, from 109 (2014) to 120 (2015) to 139 (2016) to 144. This signing will add fuel to the fire of Vontaze Burfict trade rumors, though it's possible the Bengals envision Brown and Burfict playing alongside each other, given that the team's other linebackers are underwhelming. The 25-year-old Brown is a stat accumulator more so than a true standout talent, but he'll at least be an upgrade on Vincent Rey and Nick Vigil (ankle), a duo that combined for 1,365 defensive snaps last season. A trade involving Burfict would leave Brown and Vigil as the favorites for three-down roles, with Rey, Jordan Evans and others likely competing for snaps in the base defense. It also isn't out of the question that Cincinnati adds linebacking talent in the draft, though there now appears to be greater needs on the roster.
Brown finished tops in the league with 144 tackles while adding three passes defensed and playing a career-high 1,098 defensive snaps.
Officially, Brown tied with Cleveland's Joe Schobert and Green Bay's Blake Martinez in terms of the tackle total. Brown almost never accrues meaningful numbers in other areas, as his career high in sacks is one (2016 season) and interceptions is two (2015). However, he's as steady as they come in the tackle world, with 109 or better in all four of his NFL seasons. Brown is about to be an unrestricted free agent, and even though he lacks elite speed or athleticism, coach Sean McDermott loves this type of player. It'd be a bit of a shock if the Bills let him get away.
Brown recorded 10 tackles (seven solo) in Sunday's win over the Dolphins.
Brown saw a season-high 75 defensive snaps and made the most of the opportunity, reaching a double-digit tackle count for the first time since Week 11. His season total now jumps to 117 (66 solo), which is the eighth-highest total in the league.
It was the fourth time Brown has reached double-digit tackles this season. The 25-year-old has yet to record a sack this season, but his activity in the tackle department keeps him a consistent IDP performer. He saw 69 defensive snaps (93.0 percent) in the contest.
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