Remembering what it was like in those days leading up to the 2000 NFL Draft, it was not a stretch to think that Courtney Brown was going to be the next superstar defensive player in the National Football League. Now, just seven years later, Brown is thinking about life after football, mostly due to the fact that his body could just not handle what the game had to offer. The Broncos ended their relationship with Brown just a few days ago, and now facing yet another attempt to make it, Brown seems to realize that his playing days may be over. “If the knee comes around, I’m willing,” Brown told the Denver Post. “But if the knee doesn’t, then my options are narrowed quite a bit.”
In other words, what Brown is saying is that his short-lived NFL career is over. Sure seven years in a league that is not exactly known for playing for a long time may seem like awhile, but Browns track record with staying on the field has not exactly been stellar. He was the first overall pick in the draft by the Cleveland Browns back in 2000, a team that had already drafted quarterback Tim Couch #1 the season before, and coming off a 2-14 season in 1999, the team was ready to draft an impact player on defense. That’s when they went with Brown, who was a stud at lineback with Penn State, and a player many thought was going to be a big time player in the NFL.
Instead, starting with his second season, Brown was known more for his time missed, then his time on the field. He started getting the reputation as being a player that couldn’t make adjustments, and a player that was soft when it came to stopping the run, and overrated when it came to rushing the passer. He did show glimpses, but overall was considered a bust by many around the league. The 29-year-old will be remembered most for the 51 games that he missed in his six year career, and not the 45 in which he actually played in.
Before you go feeling sorry for Brown, don’t forget that he was paid very well for the little time that he actually played. The Browns, a team that seems snakebitten by number one picks, paid Brown alone $25 million over the five quiet years that he played there. His nickname was “The Quiet Storm,” and now it is without much noise that the soft spoken Brown leaves the game with the label of first round bust.