Where you land matters in the NFL, and Carolina in 2009 was a tough draw for any 22-year-old.
In two seasons of limited play, Brown tallied six sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception. He was waived just before the start of the 2011 season, after Carolina could generate no interest in a trade.
In an odd twist of fate, a week after waiving Brown the Panthers signed St. Louis cast off George Selvie to replace him on the roster.
Two months later Brown signed with San Diego, appearing in three games for the Chargers that year. He was waived in March and spent the 2012 season without a team. The Eagles gave him a shot at the start of their 2013 camp, but he was released a week before the season started.
What he’s been doing for the past two months is anyone’s guess. Instead of picking him up as a free agent following his release from Philly, the Cowboys traded a conditional draft pick to the Colts for defensive end Caesar Rayford.
So as far as promise is concerned, we can assume the pro personnel department places Brown below Rayford and above defensive end Jason Vega, a New England camp castoff who the Cowboys waived to make room for Brown.
But no one really expected much of George Selvie either. Fact is, the Cowboys have cultivated a fiercely competitive culture under head coach Jason Garrett. Brown will get his chances to do something; Rayford and fellow end Kyle Wilber are going to get pushed. Everyone fights for their roster spot, every day. That’s how a team gets the most out of its talent, and eventually develops into a perennial winner.