Sources: Chiefs to sign Marquise 'Hollywood' Brown

ByABC News
March 15, 2024, 12:29 AM

Former Baltimore Ravens and Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown is expected to sign a one-year deal worth up to $11 million with the Kansas City Chiefs, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Thursday night.

The move gives quarterback Patrick Mahomes the upgrade at wide receiver the team had been searching for since the Super Bowl.

The Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers for their second straight Lombardi Trophy last month despite one of the least productive wide receiver groups in the NFL. Rookie Rashee Rice (79 catches, 938 yards, 7 TDs) developed into a strong option in the passing game, but the Chiefs otherwise were left to rely on journeymen and stopgaps as they chased another title.

Mahomes completed 77% of his passes with six passing touchdowns and no interceptions when targeting Rice; that number dropped to 57% when targeting any other wide receiver, as well as more interceptions (nine) than touchdowns (six). The drop rate of all other receivers outside of Rice was also over three times as high (3% to 10%) as the Chiefs dropped more passes than any other team last season.

The Chiefs had counted on big seasons from Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Skyy Moore and Kadarius Toney, but all were disappointments. Valdes-Scantling caught just 21 passes despite playing in 16 games and was recently released.  Mecole Hardman and Richie James also played at wide receiver last season with Hardman catching the winning touchdown in overtime of Super Bowl LVIII; they both are free agents.

Brown could be the perfect complement to Rice in a new-look attack that includes recently signed tight end  Irv Smith Jr. alongside star tight end Travis Kelce.

In an  Instagram post Thursday night, Brown wrote "Blessed Beyond Measures...Excited To Be Apart Of Chiefskingdom" while posting a picture of himself in a Chiefs uniform. Also in the post, he included a screenshot of a recruiting pitch Chiefs coach Andy Reid apparently sent him earlier in the day. 

Brown, who was traded to the Cardinals by the Ravens in 2022, did not get the long-term deal he was seeking leading into the 2023 campaign and was hampered by a heel injury last season.

Injuries have become a recent factor for Brown, who hasn't played a full season since 2020.

Brown, who turns 27 on June 4, finished 2023 with a career-low 574 yards in 14 games. He had 51 catches and four touchdowns on 101 targets, his third straight year with triple-digit targets. However, he set career lows in yards per target (5.68) and yards after catch (164).

He entered the NFL as the 25th pick in the 2019 draft by the Ravens. He has 313 career receptions for 3,644 yards and 28 touchdowns. His lone 1,000-yard season came in 2021, when he caught 91 passes for 1,008 yards for Baltimore.

Also on Thursday, the Chiefs agreed to re-sign defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi, according to his agents.

Nnadi, 27, started every regular-season game in 2023, but his season came to an end after he suffered a triceps injury during the wild-card round playoff win over the  Miami Dolphins. He was put on the injured reserve list.

He finished the season with 29 tackles and a sack.

Nnadi, who joined the Chiefs in 2018 as a third-round draft pick from Florida State, has played in 98 regular-season games with 86 starts. He had 222 tackles, 5 sacks and 1 interception.

ESPN's Adam Teicher and Josh Weinfuss, ESPN Stats & Information, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.