Preston Brown
Brown with the Buffalo Bills
No. 52     
Personal information
Date of birth: (1992-10-27) October 27, 1992 (age 27)
Place of birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
Career information
College: Louisville
NFL Draft: 2014 / Round: 3 / Pick: 73
No regular season or postseason appearances
Career history
* Buffalo Bills ( 2014 2017)
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
*NFL Tackling Co-Leader (2017)
  • Second-team All-AAC (2013)
  • Second-team All-BIG-EAST (2012)
Career NFL statistics as of 2018
Total tackles     554
Sacks     1.0
Forced fumbles     2
Fumble recoveries     4
Interceptions     5
Defensive touchdowns     1

Michael Preston Brown (born October 27, 1992) is an American football linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the third round of the 2014 NFL Draft. He played college football at Louisville.

High school careerEdit

Brown attended Northwest High School where he was a running back and linebacker. He earned first-team All-District honors and was selected to play in the North-South All-Star game.

Considered a three-star recruit by, he was rated as the 75th best outside linebacker prospect of his class.[1] He originally committed to the Cincinnati, but switched his commitment to Louisville.

College careerEdit

2010 seasonEdit

Brown recorded one tackle in his collegiate debut versus Kentucky and recorded his first tackle for loss against Memphis. Also had one tackle in the bowl win over Southern Mississippi. He Appeared in all 13 games at linebacker and on special teams and totaled 10 tackles in 13 games.

2011 seasonEdit

Brown appeared in all 13 games making 11 starts. He set a career-high with 12 tackles in season-opener versus Murray State. Brown recorded first sack of his college career versus Syracuse. Named BIG EAST Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 31. He finished tied for second on the team with 84 tackles total.

2012 seasonEdit

Brown took over from Dexter Heyman as middle linebacker.[2] He had a breakout season as a Junior in 2012. In the season opener against Kentucky he would finish with 6 tackles. Over the next 5 games he would record 13 total tackles, however he did not play in two of those games. In the next game against South Florida Brown would set a career-high with 17 total tackles. Against his home town Cincinnati Bearcats he was a huge factor on defense in an overtime win with 13 total tackles and an interception. For his effort against South Florida and Cincinnati he would win his second Big East player of the week of his career. In that week he recorded 30 total tackles and an interception. In a win against Temple he would have 10 tackles. In losses against Syracuse and Uconn Brown had 10 and 12 tackles, respectively. In the regular season finale, Brown would total 6 tackles in a win against Rutgers. He ended the regular season with 87 total tackles, a career-high. Brown was key in getting Louisville to the Sugar Bowl. Louisville would upset Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Brown recorded 13 total tackles and was a key part of the upset win.

2013 seasonEdit

Brown returned to Louisville for his senior season. He would lead the team in tackles with 98 total tackles, 71 of them being solo, 14 TFL, and also recorded 5 sacks. Brown forced 3 total fumbles and recovered 2 of the 3, one of which he scored his first touchdown on, returning it 48 yards against Memphis. His score would be the winning touchdown as Louisville won 24-17. Louisville ended their season playing Miami in the Russell Athletic Bowl. Brown recorded 7 tackles and 1 sack in this game as the cardinals won 36-9. Brown played in the 2014 East–West Shrine Game and registered 2.5 total tackles.

Career totalsEdit

In Brown's four years at Louisville, he played in 52 games. He recorded 301 total tackles, 178 solo, seven sacks, 26 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries out of three forced; one of which was returned 48 yards for a touchdown, and one 1 interception.

Professional careerEdit

Brown was rated the fourth best inside linebacker prospect, and was projected to be drafted in the third-to-fourth round by[3]

30px External video
16px Preston Browns' NFL Combine Workout
Pre-draft measureables
Ht WtArm lengthHand size 40-yd dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert Broad BP
6 ft 1 in 251 lb33.5 in10 ¼ in 4.86 s 1.64 s 4.26 s 6.98 s 33 in 9 ft 8 in 23 reps

Buffalo BillsEdit

The Buffalo Bills selected Brown in the third round (73rd overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft. He was the tenth linebacker drafted in 2014.[4]


On May 14, 2014, the Buffalo Bills signed Brown to a four-year, $3 million contract that included a signing bonus of $648,000.[5]

Throughout training camp, Brown competed for a role as a backup outside linebacker against Nigel Bradham. On July 2, 2014, it was reported that starting weakside linebacker Kiko Alonso was expected to miss the entire season after tearing his ACL. Defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz held an open competition to between Brown and Bradham to name a new starter.[6] Head coach Doug Marrone named Brown the backup weakside linebacker to begin the season, behind Nigel Bradham.

He made his professional regular season debut and first career start in the Buffalo Bills' season-opener at the Chicago Bears and recorded seven combined tackles in their 23–20 victory. He earned the start in place of Nigel Bradham, who was suspended for their season-opener after violating the league's policy and program for substances of abuse.[7] The following week, he started in place of Keith Rivers after he was inactive due to a groin injury he sustained in the season-opener.[8] Brown collected a season-high 13 combined tackles (seven solo) during a 29–10 victory against the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. Prior to Week 7, Brown supplanted Rivers as the starting strongside linebacker and remained as the starter for the last ten games of the season. On October 26, 2014, Brown recorded nine combined tackles, a pass deflection, and made his first career interception during a 43–23 win at the New York Jets in Week 8. He intercepted a pass by quarterback Geno Smith that was originally intended for tight end Jeff Cumberland and returned it for no gain.[9] He finished his rookie season in 2014 with 109 combined tackles (66 solo), two pass deflections, and an interception in 16 games and 14 starts.[10] His 109 tackles were the most of any Bills' player in 2014.[11]


On January 1, 2015, it was announced that head coach Doug Marrone opted to exercise a clause in his contract and resign from his role after finishing with a 9–7 record in 2014.[12] Brown entered training camp slated as the starting inside linebacker along with Nigel Bradham.[13] Head coach Rex Ryan officially named Brown and Bradham the starting inside linebacker to begin the regular season.[14]

In Week 2, Brown recorded a season-high 12 combined tackles (seven solo) during a 40–32 loss to the New England Patriots. On September 27, 2015, Brown made seven combined tackles, two pass deflections, two interceptions, and a touchdown in the Bills' 41–14 win at the Miami Dolphins in Week 3. He returned an interception by quarterback Ryan Tannehill for a 43-yard touchdown in the second quarter to mark the first score of his career.[15] He finished his second season with 120 combined tackles (66 solo), four pass deflections, two interceptions, a forced fumble, and a touchdown in 16 games and 16 starts.[10]


Head coach Rex Ryan named Brown and Zach Brown the starting inside linebackers to start the regular season, alongside outside linebackers Jerry Hughes and Lorenzo Alexander.[16][17] In Week 2, Brown collected a season-high 16 combined tackles (seven solo) in the Bills' 37–31 loss to the New York Jets.[18] On October 30, 2016, Brown recorded eight combined tackles and made his first career sack on quarterback Tom Brady during a 31–25 loss to the New England Patriots in Week 8.[18] In Week 16, he collected 14 combined tackles (eight solo) in a 34–31 loss to the Miami Dolphins.[18] The following week, Brown made 14 combined tackles (five solo) during a 30–10 loss at the New York Jets in Week 17.[18] It marked Browns' fifth game of the season with 11 of more combined tackles. He finished the 2016 season with 139 combined tackles (79 solo), a pass deflection, and a sack in 16 games and 16 starts.[10] On December 27, 2016, the Buffalo Bills fired head coach Rex Ryan after the Bills finished with a 7–9 record.[19]


Throughout training camp, Brown competed against Reggie Ragland to be the starting middle linebacker after defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier opted to switch to a base 4-3 defense.[20] Head coach Sean McDermott named Brown the starting middle linebacker to start the regular season, along with outside linebackers Lorenzo Alexander and Ramon Humber.[21]

On November 19, 2017, Brown collected 13 combined tackles (11 solo) in the Bills' 54–24 loss at the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 11.[22] In Week 16, he recorded a season-high 15 combined tackles (ten solo) during a 37–16 loss at the New England Patriots.[22] The following week, Brown made 12 combined tackles (eight solo) in the Bills' 22–16 victory at the Miami Dolphins in Week 17.[22] He finished his last season with the Bills with a career-high 144 combined tackles (84 solo) and three pass deflections in 16 games and 16 starts.[10] His 144 tackles tied for most in the league with linebackers Blake Martinez and Joe Schobert. Pro Football Focus gave Brown an overall grade of 71.6, which ranked 42nd among all qualifying linebackers in 2017.[23]

The Buffalo Bills finished second in the AFC East with a 9–7 record. On January 7, 2018, Brown started in his first career playoff game and recorded six combined tackles in the Bills' 10–3 loss at the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Wildcard Game.[22]

Cincinnati BengalsEdit

On March 16, 2018, the Cincinnati Bengals signed Brown to a one-year, $4 million contract with a $2 million signing bonus.[5][24][25] He started seven games before being placed on injured reserve on November 20, 2018 with a knee injury.[26]

On March 13, 2019, Brown signed a three-year contract extension with the Bengals.[27]


  1. Preston Brown - Yahoo Sports
  2. Next step for Preston Brown
  3. NFLDraftScout - Draft Profile
  4. Buffalo Bills pick Preston Brown
  5. 5.0 5.1 " Preston Brown contract". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  6. Galliford, Brian (July 10, 2014). "Buffalo Bills 2014 training camp battles: outside linebacker". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  7. Patra, Kevin (July 30, 2014). "Bills LB Nigel Bradham suspended for opening game". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  8. Fairburn, Matthew (September 11, 2014). "Preston Brown prepared to replace Keith Rivers after stepping in for Nigel Bradham in Week 1". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  9. "NFL Game Center: Week 8-2014: Buffalo Bills @ New York Jets". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 "NFL Player stats: Preston Browns (career)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  11. "Team Statistics: Buffalo Bills (2014)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  12. "Doug Marrone opta out of Bills deal". January 2, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  13. "Report: Bills lose LB Ty Powell to torn ACL in Monday’s practice". August 17, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  14. " Buffalo Bills Depth Chart: 10/01/2015". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  15. "NFL Game Center: Week 3-2015: Buffalo Bills @ Miami Dolphins". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  16. " Buffalo Bills Depth Chart: 10/01/2016". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  17. Pruso, Sean (September 2, 2016). "Bills projected 53-man depth chart following roster cuts". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 "NFL Player stats: Preston Brown (2016)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  19. "Rex Ryan fired as Bills' postseason drought reaches 17 seasons". December 26, 2016. Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  20. Rodak, Mike (August 28, 2017). "Reggie Ragland trade cements Preston Brown's spot in Bills' defense". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  21. " Buffalo Bills Depth Chart: 10/01/2017". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 "NFL Player stats: Preston Brown (2017)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  23. "Pro Football Focus: Preston Brown (2017)". Retrieved May 8, 2018.
  24. Marcum, Jason (March 16, 2018). "Bengals signing former Bills linebacker Preston Brown".
  25. Hobson, Geoff (March 16, 2018). "Bengals hit a homer with signing of MLB Brown".
  26. "Brown and Brown To IR, Edebali Signed, Sharp and Wallace to Practice Squad". November 20, 2018.
  27. "Preston Brown Re-Signs With Bengals". March 13, 2019.

External linksEdit


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