- Antonio Brown is one of the most divisive NFL free agents
- Brown will attract interest, but it’s likely a one-year deal
- Which teams make sense as a landing spot this offseason?
If we could turn back the hands of time, and slot in Antonio Brown’s free agency at the end of any season through 2018, the discussion would have been about how the receiver market would have been reset by the tremendously talented pass catcher.
Instead, Brown’s career has been derailed in such a drastic way since the Pittsburgh Steelers traded him to the Las Vegas Raiders in March 2019 that he’s not going to be the apple of everyone’s eye when we hits the market here in 2021.
Still, he did a decent amount this season after returning from a suspension in Week 9, highlighted by his vintage Week 17 performance against the Atlanta Falcons. In that contest, Brown hung 138 yards and 2 touchdowns on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers division rivals, showing he could still erupt for a big game.
While the chances that Brown ever gets a long term deal in the NFL again are slim to none, he should have rehabilitated his value just enough to garner interest from a few teams. Every team who kicks the tires on him though will have to do a ton of research, and probably would only be teams with established quarterbacks and coaches. Who might these suitors be?
There are a lot of reasons why Brown shouldn’t try to see if the grass is greener on the other side. His greatest ally in the league is a seven time Super Bowl winning quarterback, which is about as influential a person one could have on their side. Tom Brady has been pounding the table for the Patriots in 2019 and the Buccaneers in 2020 to give Brown a chance, and will likely continue to want to work with Brown in the future.
Brown’s services might actually take on a lot more importance if teams blow the Buccaneers out of the water with offers for another of their free agent wide receivers, Chris Godwin. At this juncture, it seems like the most likely outcome is AB returning to the Bucs in hopes of defending their Super Bowl title.
The Seahawks are always lurking in the background when it comes to doing their due diligence on immensely talented wide receivers with baggage.
They’ve given the troubled Josh Gordon a couple of chances, without too much success for him or the team. Before Brown ended up in Tampa Bay, Seattle was interested in bringing in the four time All-Pro.
They still fit the profile of a team who could reasonably accommodate Brown’s talent and temperament. Even though quarterback Russell Wilson has made some interesting comments this offseason, it’s highly unlikely the team will look to part ways with him in the prime of his career. Head coach Pete Carroll is an institution at this point in the Pacific Northwest, and also has the type of credibility that could give Brown some freedom to be himself, but reign him in when necessary.
This would be more of a subtraction by addition move if the Chiefs decided to take the plunge. It would be a subtraction from the team Kansas City just lost to in the Super Bowl, and thus, an addition by virtue of the fact that Brown wouldn’t be available for Tom Brady.
Kansas City doesn’t really need Brown’s services with the amount of talent and speed they already have on the outside. But if they wanted a spark to light their already powerful fuse, bringing Brown in to a team with a strong leadership structure and winning track record could be a worthwhile gamble for them.