The three groups which have proven probably the most curiosity in buying and selling for extensive receiver Antonio Brown are the Oakland Raiders, Washington Redskins and Tennessee Titans, league sources instructed ESPN’s Adam Schefter. However which crew could be the perfect touchdown spot for Brown? What are the professionals and cons of including Brown, who needed out of Pittsburgh? Our NFL Nation reporters weigh in:
How would Brown match within the offensive system?
Turron Davenport, Titans reporter: Brown averaged 171 targets per season over the previous six years. It’s extremely unlikely he would get that many targets in a run-heavy scheme for the Titans. On the floor, Brown and the Titans do not look like a match. However Brown’s potential to attain each time he touches the ball could be coveted by a crew that’s desperately have to change into extra explosive. Brown had six receptions of 40 yards or extra final yr. The Titans’ offense, in the meantime, had solely six passing performs of 40 yards or extra.
Paul Gutierrez, Raiders reporter: How about … like a glove? The Raiders haven’t any pace and even much less game-breaking potential at receiver on the roster. Certain, Brown will likely be 31 in July, however that’s three years youthful than Jordy Nelson, and the Raiders want a deep menace — badly.
John Keim, Redskins reporter: Brown matches in any offensive system that wishes gamers who could make large performs. Brown wins quick on the line, and the Redskins like to make use of quite a lot of quick-game passing. And the way about this: Since 2013, the Steelers averaged four.51 yards per carry when Brown was on the sector on first down and a couple of.50 when he wasn’t. The Redskins love operating on first down.
Antonio Brown doesn’t “take any blame” for the breakdown of his relationship with the Steelers that has led to him being on the buying and selling block. Mark Alberti/Icon Sportswire
How would Brown be obtained within the locker room?
Davenport: Brown didn’t pull any punches when requested about being considered by common supervisor Kevin Colbert as one of many 52 youngsters beneath QB Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh. Marcus Mariota would probably by no means name out one in every of his teammates like Roethlisberger did, in order that bodes properly for his or her relationship. Getting on the identical web page when Mariota extends performs will take time, but it surely’s an space wherein they’ll do harm.
Gutierrez: Like a prodigal son returning. Look, QB Derek Carr famously vibed with Brown on the 2018 Professional Bowl. “He’s particular, man,” Brown stated of Carr on the time. “It’s been an honor catching the ball from him. He’s an amazing younger quarterback, younger champion, and [possesses] all the basics to be one of many best.” And this from Carr at a charity occasion Saturday evening, per the Fresno Bee: “If it really works out within the enterprise aspect, I do know the locker room will likely be arms extensive open to accepting Antonio.”
Keim: The Redskins have had a number of robust characters in recent times, from DeSean Jackson to D.J. Swearinger to Josh Norman to Zach Brown. These gamers rubbed some teammates the improper approach, moreso when not producing. If QB Colt McCoy begins, he’s a quiet and powerful chief revered by gamers. An added bonus: He doesn’t publicly name out gamers.
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What’s the most important upside to including Brown?
Davenport: Brown alone would make the passing sport a legit menace. Groups would now not have the ability to stack the field in opposition to Derrick Henry and the operating sport as a result of Brown will win one-on-one matchups in opposition to any cornerback. Though Brown is taken into account a high-maintenance participant, his work ethic is famous. Having him within the constructing would push youthful receivers equivalent to Corey Davis and Taywan Taylor to raise their sport.
Gutierrez: Um, every little thing? On the sector, the addition of the erstwhile “Sticky Bun” would offer a jolt of electrical energy and pleasure for an oft-moribund offense. Within the stands, properly, Brown would function a type of a “make-up” reward for an Oakland fan base that’s shedding its crew to Las Vegas in a yr.
Keim: He scores touchdowns. The Redskins lack gamers who do that with regularity. Redskins’ receivers ranked final in 2018 with 1,694 yards and 28th in yards after the catch (three.63). Up to now six years, Brown has averaged 1,524 yards and four.64 yards after the catch. Do the maths.
Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says that they need a scenario that advantages each Pittsburgh and Antonio Brown, however their essential precedence is the curiosity of the Steelers.
What’s the most important draw back of including Brown?
Davenport: Brown won’t react properly to not getting the variety of targets he has seen up to now. He’s a passionate participant and needs to win. If the Titans don’t win video games and Brown doesn’t get sufficient touches, issues might go south.
Gutierrez: Nonetheless trying … OK, what concerning the seven-time Professional Bowler being a diva and a distraction for a franchise below reconstruction? Meh. OK, what concerning the four-time first-team All-Professional taking snaps from a creating wideout? That doesn’t fly, both, until you suppose the Raiders are going to draft D.Ok. Metcalf. Brown would eat up some cap house, however Oakland has quite a bit.
Keim: Maybe it is the potential distraction, however gamers get used to loopy conditions right here. A variety of guys on offense — tight finish Jordan Reed, operating again Chris Thompson — have desired extra assist from the skin, so that they’d be excited. It’s not like everybody hated Brown within the Steelers’ locker room. However Washington has solely $17 million in cap house, however can unencumber extra to soak up Brown’s $15.1 million cap hit this yr. As one member of the group stated, they want multiple participant.
Is the potential of Brown being a distraction well worth the reward?
Davenport: Sure. Brown would elevate the offense due to how a lot consideration he calls for from defenses. Coach Mike Vrabel has established himself because the authority determine, and given his expertise as a participant with the Patriots, he’s conversant in a locker room that simply accepts disgruntled gamers from different groups.
Gutierrez: Sure, as a result of it isn’t just like the Raiders are merely one participant away from competing; they’ve holes everywhere in the roster. And Jon Gruden & Co. handled “distractions” from Marshawn Lynch to Martavis Bryant to the trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper final yr. So, distract from what, precisely?
Keim: Sure. He’s a future Corridor of Famer and game-breaking wideout, and the Redskins’ offense wants a serious enhance. This workers must win now. Brown wouldn’t be the primary “distraction” they’ve endured, although it usually ends poorly. So the caveat is that this: The Redskins should retain energy over the scenario by not guaranteeing the ultimate years of his deal. That approach they’ll reassess the connection at season’s finish. I doubt Brown could be thrilled with that association.
Antonio Brown would give Jon Gruden the elite playmaker his offense lacks. Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports activities
Is your crew the perfect touchdown spot for Brown?
Davenport: No. The Raiders have an skilled playcaller in Jon Gruden and a quarterback in Carr who would pair higher with Brown. Additionally, transferring to Las Vegas in 2020 could be an ideal setting for Brown to be maximized as an attraction for the franchise. Oakland has loads of cap house, so Brown might get the brand new deal he desires.
Gutierrez: Sure. Brown likes Carr, and Gruden loves Brown, a lot in order that he stated Brown was the hardest-working observe participant he had ever seen — and that included Jerry Rice. Then there’s this in 2020: Brown in Las Vegas.
Keim: No. Oakland has extra to supply when it comes to what it will probably commerce, a coach with safety and due to this fact energy, and the flexibility to appease Brown’s want for assured cash. We don’t even know who will begin at quarterback for the Redskins, if certainly it is going to be McCoy or another person. It’s exhausting to think about Brown being joyful if he’s coping with mediocre QB play — or worse.