As first reported by ESPN’s Mike Rodak, the Buffalo Bills have signed wide receiver Corey “Philly” Brown.
Brown, 25, is entering his fourth NFL season. His first three years all came with the Carolina Panthers, also the home of new Bills head coach Sean McDermott for that time frame. In 43 NFL games (with 22 starts), Brown has 79 catches for 1,019 yards and seven touchdowns. His career highs of 31 catches for 447 yards and four touchdowns came in 2015.
Brown (who, if you’re wondering, is from Philadelphia) was eligible for a restricted free agency tender, but the Panthers declined to offer one, allowing him to hit unrestricted free agency. He becomes the second former Panther to follow McDermott to Buffalo this offseason, joining fullback Mike Tolbert.
Brown probably comes in at fourth on a normal wide receiver depth chart, but given the precarious situation the Bills are in at the position he may end up serving as the third receiver for the team this year, assuming they address the position early in the upcoming NFL Draft.
He shares a similar physical profile with the departed Robert Woods. While he isn’t as reliable of a receiver as Woods is (never higher than a 58.3% catch rate, while Woods normally hovered close to 70%), he does offer something more in the vertical game (topped 14 YPC twice compared to once for Woods). All in all, he’s probably a downgrade, but he makes the receiving corps better than it was at the outset of free agency.