Canadian running back Chase Brown has agreed to terms on a rookie contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to NFL insider Aaron Wilson. The deal is worth $4.126 million over a four-year term and includes a $286,156 signing bonus.
The native of London, Ont. was selected by the Bengals in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft with the 163rd overall pick. He was one of five Canadian players taken in the draft, setting a new single-year NFL record.
Brown won the Jon Cornish Trophy as Canada’s top NCAA football player in 2022 following a sensational season at the University of Illinois. He carried the ball 328 times for 1,643 yards and 10 touchdowns while adding 27 receptions for 240 yards and three touchdowns. The consensus second-team All-American finished fourth in the nation in rushing yards and was a finalist for the Doak Walker Award as college football’s top running back.
The five-foot-nine, 209-pound ball carrier transferred to Illinois from Western Michigan as a sophomore and finished his college career with 3,558 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns over 47 games. He attended the prestigious Reese’s Senior Bowl all-star game in 2022 and was named one of the practice Players of the Week.
Brown led his position group with a stunning 40-inch vertical and 10-foot, seven-inch broad jump at the NFL Combine. He later clocked the fifth-fastest forty-yard dash at 4.43 seconds with a 1.53-second ten-yard split and put up 25 reps on the bench press, which also led all running backs.
Chase is the identical twin brother of Illinois defensive back Sydney Brown, who was selected in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. The pair battled homelessness and hardship on their way to a pro football career, moving to Florida in high school in the hopes of landing a Division I scholarship.
Chase was selected in the seventh-round of the 2023 CFL Draft by the Montreal Alouettes, though it is unlikely that he will ever play north of the border.