The Jets announced on Monday that they had re-signed Brown who played a team-high 335 special-teams snaps in 2020. For that reason, calling him a “tight end” might even be a little misleading.
Brown played just 28 offensive snaps in 2020 hauling in the only two targets that came his way for 31 yards. He made his largest impact on special teams where he played 75 percent of special teams snaps — the highest mark on the team.
In fact, only two Jets played more than 55 percent of special teams snaps, Brown and veteran safety Matthias Farley. Farley signed with the Tennessee Titans this offseason meaning that Brown is one of the few notable special-teams holdovers from a year ago.
The NY Jets maintained some special-teams continuity by re-signing Daniel Brown
An undrafted free agent in the 2015 NFL Draft, Brown was signed by the Baltimore Ravens and spent the first two-thirds of the year on their practice squad. He would end up getting promoted to the active roster in November and go on to play in six games his rookie season.
Brown played in a pair of games with Baltimore in 2016 before being claimed off waivers by the Chicago Bears. The James Madison product spent three total years in Chicago developing into a core special-teamer.
While he did amass 29 catches in 34 career games with the Bears, his biggest impact came as a rock-solid part of their special teams unit. And that’s probably why the Jets came calling in the 2019 offseason.
Brown has spent the last two seasons with the Jets playing all 32 possible games, even making six starts as a reserve tight end. But once again, his greatest value hasn’t come on offense.
The 28-year-old has been the Jets’ most prominent special teamer over the last two seasons playing a team-high 68 percent of snaps in 2019 and topping that figure the following season.
Given how much the Jets’ special-teams unit has changed this offseason, it’s good to see at least one familiar face return. Of the nine Jets who played the most special teams snaps in 2020 (excluding specialists), only Brown and fellow tight end Ryan Griffin are still on the roster.
Brown joins Griffin, Chris Herndon, free-agent signee Tyler Kroft, Trevon Wesco, and former XFL standout Connor Davis as tight ends on the Jets roster. It’s a crowded unit, and it could get even more crowded if the Jets add a tight end in the draft.
But the Daniel Brown re-signing is about a lot more than tight end depth. It’s about maintaining special teams continuity in an offseason full of change.
Here’s to hoping it pays off.