Just hours after agreeing to become the newest member of the Oakland Raiders, Trent Brown took to Instagram to dedicate his new $66M contract to a former teammate of his at the University of Florida and a former Raider, Neiron Ball.
Both Ball and Brown were drafted out of the University of Florida in 2015, Ball in the fifth round by the Raiders and Brown in the seventh round by the 49ers. As a tackle, Brown went against Ball in practice on a daily basis for several seasons.
Ball missed the 2012 season at Florida due to a burst arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain and fought hard to recover, eventually returning to football in 2012. He played well enough to be drafted by Oakland, but was released in 2017. Unfortunately, in late 2018 Ball suffered a brain aneurysm and was placed in a medically induced coma, where he remains to this day.
Brown can surely become a fan favorite by protecting Derek Carr as well as he protected Tom Brady, but it’s thoughtfulness and gestures like this that will endear him to Raider Nation before he ever steps on the field in the Silver and Black.