High School Sports

Former Coast football star appears to be in the Carolina Panthers’ plans

Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Richie Brown (39) runs the ball in the second quarter at Tropicana Field, Dec. 26, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Brown was recently signed to a reserve future contract with the Carolina Panthers.
Mississippi State Bulldogs linebacker Richie Brown (39) runs the ball in the second quarter at Tropicana Field, Dec. 26, 2016 in St. Petersburg, Fla. Brown was recently signed to a reserve future contract with the Carolina Panthers. TNS

It appears former Mississippi State and Long Beach star Richie Brown at least has his foot in the door for the 2018-19 Carolina Panthers. The team announced Monday that it had signed Brown to a reserve future contract.

A “reserve future contract” is basically a promise for the next season. According to Rotoworld.com, only players who were not on any team’s active roster at the end of the previous season are eligible. This form of a deal is typically for athletes who were on the practice squad. It also means the player is added to the active roster on the first day of the new league year.

The former Bearcat and Bulldog has had an interesting road to Carolina. At the conclusion of a standout collegiate career, Brown went unselected in last year’s NFL Draft, but signed on May 5 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as an undrafted free agent. He was waived by Tampa Bay on Sept. 3, but the Panthers signed him to their practice squad Dec. 5.

In 52 games at MSU, Brown racked up 299 tackles, including 21 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, seven pass breakups, six forced fumbles and five interceptions. Prior to that, Brown was considered one of the top recruits in Mississippi’s 2012 signing class. A Parade All-America selection, Brown recorded 522 total tackles during his prep career at LBHS.

According to Carolina’s online roster, the Panthers currently have six linebackers on the active roster, with anywhere between three and 13 years of experience. There’s another linebacker on injured reserve and then Brown as the lone LB on the team’s reserve future list.

Patrick Ochs: 228-896-2321, @PatrickOchs

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