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Sunday open thread: Should the Detroit Lions have traded for Antonio Brown?

Would you have made the same deal the Raiders did?

NFL: Cincinnati Bengals at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Overnight, the Oakland Raiders finalized a deal with the Pittsburgh Steelers to finally send disgruntled wide receiver Antonio Brown to a new team. Brown was the hottest topic of the NFL offseason, and his saga was both unprecedented and a little drawn out by the end of it.

Many in Detroit wondered if the Lions were going to make a play for the All-Pro receiver, and while it always seemed unlikely, it was admittedly fun to think about. It was unclear how much it would cost to nab him, but a fun debate ensued, arguing how much you’d pay for the top-tier talent.

Well, wonder no more. The Raiders are giving up a third and a fifth-round pick for Brown, and also handing him this massive extension:

So with all the factors known, let’s have one final debate. Today’s Question of the Day is:

Given the exact terms the Raiders paid (third, fifth-round pick + 3-year record-breaking deal), should the Lions have traded for Antonio Brown?

My answer: Let’s break this down a bit. I was on record just a few months ago saying I would give up the Lions’ first-round pick to get Brown, so it would seem dishonest if I just said no right now. A third and a fifth-round pick for Antonio Brown is a steal. The Lions managed a third-round pick by giving away Golden Tate for a half of a likely-lost season. Getting arguably the best receiver in the game for just an extra fifth is robbery.

But there are more factors in play here. When I first proclaimed I would take Brown for a first, stories of his unpleasantness were relegated to vague locker room stories. But this offseason, Brown made that obvious for the world to see. He nixed a trade. He called out quarterbacks, owners, and anyone else he was pissed off at on social media. Hell, a few days ago he claimed he didn’t even need football. Admittedly, I thought the Steelers were the problem at first (I mean, Le’Veon Bell, too?), but Brown made it clear his ugly divorce from Pittsburgh was mostly on him.

Then there’s the extension. While it was obvious Brown was always making a play for more money, seeing the terms of the deal are also pretty off-putting. While we don’t know the specifics quite yet, Brown is certainly going to have a monster cap hit that likely would have taken nearly half of Detroit’s estimated $40 million in cap room. It may actually make sense for the Raiders, who have an additional $20 million to spare, but I think it was probably wise for the Lions not to spend so aggressively on a player that may very well cause some disruption in the locker room, especially when you consider the team’s massive needs elsewhere.

There is part of me that still fantasizes about grabbing Brown for so little draft capital, but overall, I’m not feeling upset that the Lions passed on this one.

Your turn.


Should the Lions have traded for Antonio Brown?

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  • 15%
    (294 votes)
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1955 votes total Vote Now

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