Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

02 Mar 2010

Giants Tender C.C. Brown

No, really. And the article by Mike Garofolo is a must-read too, as reader Elliot Chalom points out.

In news that will go over with Giants fans about as well as the AIG bonuses being paid went over with everyone except AIG execs, the Giants have extended a tender to safety C.C. Brown, according to a report on FOXSports.com. The report says it's a low tender of $1.226 million and that the Giants won't receive any compensation if another team signs him away from them. (Don't sweat it.)

Posted by: Bill Barnwell on 02 Mar 2010

26 comments, Last at 27 Mar 2010, 4:49am by sports-veronica


by matthewglidden :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:38pm

As his article implies, the Giants can try him at other (limited?) roles and suffer little for cutting him in camp. Not sure about the logic, though, unless an uncapped year leads teams to delay financial decisions otherwise pushed on them by the cap.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:43pm

Are you sure it wasn't "Giants Tenderize C.C. Brown"? You know, with hammers?

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 1:58pm


by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 7:39pm

My Mom used to have one of those tenderizing hammers - man they hurt when you get hit with them.

by tuluse :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 12:53pm

Does he play special teams? I know his rep for safety play, but if he's good on special teams I can see keeping him.

You're welcome in advance for my eternal optimism Giant's fans.

by JasonK :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 1:11pm

Interestingly, the is the rarely-seen, extra-low, "no compensation" tender. The base tender salary for a player with 5 accrued seasons is the $1.226M that Brown gets. Both the "no compensation" and the "originial round" compensation tenders carry this salary, but the "original round" compensation adds a clause to the effect of "or 110% of the player's prior year salary, whichever is higer." Brown actually had a $1M base salary in 2009, with about $400K in various bonuses, which would make the "original round" tender (he was a 6th round pick) cost more than the "no compensation" tender does.

So, in the catastrophic event that he does make the roster, at least he's taking a pay cut!

Also, an interesting contrast: The Giants decided not to tender Kevin Dockery at all, who had a terrible 2009 (getting passed on the depth chart by a rookie free agent) but who has been a useful depth CB for them in the past. Because the only risk to tendering a player in an uncapped year is that he may go on IR before you have the chance to cut him (thus putting the team on the hook for the full tender salary), observers read this as the team trying to send a message to the rest of the secondary that crappy play and a crappy attitude wouldn't be tolerated anymore. Tendering Brown blows that theory out of the water.

by James-London :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 5:52pm

Question: Isn't the Tender guarenteed money id Brown Signs it? (If it is he'd mad not to...)

Phil Simms is a Cretin.

by JasonK :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 5:56pm

It is not. The only way Brown sees the bulk of that money is if he either makes the active roster or goes on IR before the team can cut him.

by Kevin from Philly :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 7:43pm

Fortunate for him that he lives in North Jersey, were you can easily find a guy to "accidently" break your leg.

by Phyrre562 (not verified) :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 1:11pm

At $1.2M, that's backup / special teams money. Plus he's easily cut in camp if they find a better alternative. Not really a big deal. I mean I get the joke that he's so terrible, why offer him anything, but it's not like he's hurting the team in that role, at that price.

by Very Anonymous (not verified) :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 1:16pm

From the article: "He's a "box" safety,"

Which means he should be placed in a box and mailed back to the Texans. They can also have Aaron Rouse for free.

by Yaguar :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 2:02pm

Here's the worst thing:

Despite the fact that Brown seemingly can't possibly get any worse, he never gets any better. When Brown was in Houston, Manning could reliably pick up three touchdowns, three hundred yards, zero interceptions, no questions asked. He had CC Brown abuse down to a science.

by Tim Gerheim :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 4:47pm

To be fair, that's basically how it's been for Manning against the Texans for the last eight years, C.C. or no C.C.

by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 6:57pm

Funny thing is as bad as Brown is, and as much notoriety as he's gotten, he might not even be the worst safety on his own team, at least if you take stock in PFF's player ratings. PFF had Michael Johnson and Aaron Rouse (plus 8 other safeties, most notably Laron Landry and Michael Griffin) rated below Brown. Brown is rated as worse than either of them in pass defense, but his run defense makes up the gap.

If their ratings here hold any ground, I'd say Brown is getting a bad rap. I mean, it's not as if we're getting Extra Points headlined, "The Colts Didn't Cut Melvin Bullitt", or "Bucs hang onto Sabby Piscatelli", and both of those guys are (apparently) worse than Brown.

by Dales :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 8:17pm

Defending Brown by pointing out he's not as bad as the other Giants safeties last year is akin to defending Stalin because he wasn't Hitler.

Except, in a football sort of way rather than a totalitarian, death, destruction and misery-on-an-incomprehensible-scale way.

by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:16pm

I'd say Stalin was worse than Hitler.

I just don't see the point of seemingly criticizing a team for signing a bad player when there's (assuming the ratings are right) even worse players on their own team. In fact, (again, if PFF's numbers are to be believed) CC Brown is the Giants' best safety whose career isn't in jeopardy.

Beyond that, the guy has just gotten so much criticism, much more than almost any other replacement level player (except for maybe DHB or Jamarcus), I just don't see why he's worse than the other terrible safeties that nobody ever talks about. Furthermore, you only get to start in the NFL by being better than anyone else available to a team, which means most/all of the practice squad guys or street free agents are probably even worse than Brown is at this point. Hell, take an average safety from a BCS school and put him in the NFL, Brown would look like a stud.

Not that i feel sorry for the man, I wish I could be a backup in the NFL who had to deal with a little bad press. But it just doesn't seem quite right to single him out, it's not as though he was the first overall pick or some epic bust or something, he's a 6th round fringe backup who's still better than a few guys who got a lot of playing time, almost all of the guys who can't find a roster spot, and 99.999% of all other football players. And I'm sure that's all the Giants expect him to be, but if he's one of your two best safeties available you have to play him. They tendered him the lowest possible offer, they didn't franchise him, I don't see why this is a news story or why the Giants deserve criticism for it.

by Dales :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 11:04pm

"I just don't see the point of seemingly criticizing a team for signing a bad player when there's (assuming the ratings are right) even worse players on their own team. In fact, (again, if PFF's numbers are to be believed) CC Brown is the Giants' best safety whose career isn't in jeopardy."

The point is sign players who are better rather than keeping any of them you don't have to keep (excepting Phillips).

by Brendan Scolari :: Wed, 03/03/2010 - 12:46am

Who would you have them sign? They obviously have a budget, so any money spent on an upgrade at safety is less money they can spend elsewhere. It's clearly a big need, but it's not like there's many/any good free agent ballhawk safeties, not that that means they can't bring Brown back on a cheap deal anyway.

by Mr Shush :: Wed, 03/03/2010 - 11:23am

I can speak only for Brown's time in Houston, but unless his play against the run improved dramatically during his stay on IR, I have to say that PFF's numbers on this cannot be reflective of reality, or at best must be a small sample size fluke. The kindest thing I could say about Brown as a run defender is that he is better in that role than as a pass defender. Just. It boggles my comprehension that he has got the playing time he has in the league. The Texans had the worst secondary in football from 2005 to 2007, and of the multitude of crappy players who featured in it at one point or another, Brown was unequivocally the worst. He kept getting opportunities as less awful players (the Glenn Earls of this world) went down in camp, leaving their similarly-wretched-but-still-more-talented-than-Brown replacements too little time to familiarise themselves with the system. That, or he had compromising pictures of then-DB coach John Hoke. I simply do not believe that superior players cannot be found for the same money - and indeed quite possibly for a hair over the rookie minimum in the form of UDFAs.

by Dales :: Wed, 03/03/2010 - 11:29pm

Better word would have been 'acquire'.

To my eyes, CC was not just below replacement level, but significantly so. I cannot prove that there will be replacement level safties available, but I am confident that between the draft and free agency, they could upgrade this position to the point that CC should not be on the roster.

by Dice :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 7:25pm

I'm skeptical about PFF's ratings after Reed Doughty was something like #4 overall in the league when I looked at the site. Anecdotally, when I asked who was worse on this site, Giant's fans seemed more than willing to take Brian Russell over Brown.

As for Bullitt, I thought the Colts were pretty happy with him.

by Brendan Scolari :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 7:44pm

I just checked, Doughty was 7th overall for the season. Although interestingly enough his pass coverage rating was actually negative, they just had him rated as the best run defender in the league. Whether that's accurate at all, I don't know, I didn't watch much of the Redskins this year, but perhaps you are judging him mostly based on his pass coverage?

My respect for PFF's numbers comes mostly from agreeing with most of the ratings on the teams that I do watch a lot, and from verifying their game charting in games I watched, so I just go on faith for the rest of the NFL. I think at the very least it's enlightening as a (seemingly) unbiased source, and it's a service that is pretty much unique at this point as far as I know. FO obviously has great stats for skill players but understandably can't hold a candle as far as induvidual player analysis for the rest of the NFL.

by dmb :: Wed, 03/03/2010 - 11:58am

The thing is that PFF is looking at how well players execute their (perceived) assignment, which says nothing at all about how difficult that assignment is. So a number two corner whose only job is to cover #4 receivers will come out looking very, very good. For PFF to be useful, you have to recognize that it's only a way to assess a player's execution, and not how that execution relates to the team's "bigger picture."

Having watched most of the Redskins games, Doughty was consistently strong against the run, and average against the pass. But his job was primarily to be a "box" safety, and his coverage responsibilities were generally minimized and not terribly demanding. So he executed well in his responsibilities, which is reflected in PFF's numbers. The numbers just can't tell you that the Redskins' defensive staff was putting him in a position to succeed; that's something you have to see from watching his play yourself (or from a conversation like this).

by Dice :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:22pm

I'd say accurate in neither case. He was good at making stops once the receiver was near him when he was coverage, but he struggles in man to man on anything but a tight end; I understand he's not a ballhawking cover safety, and he's good enough on the cheap. For run support, he's good, not great when I've seen him play. He does wrap up and make the tackle, and he seems to hit hard enough, too. I'm not sure I'd rank him the best run defending safety in the league, but I'm not planning on watching every snap of every game anytime soon either.

by slipknottin :: Tue, 03/02/2010 - 9:50pm

CC Brown is a very good ST player, and the contract is low and not guaranteed. I dont really see a downside to it.