It is not often that a top-tier wide receiver hits the market.
It is exceptionally rare that a top-tier wide receiver hits the market right before the regular season.
What happened with Antonio Brown is simply unfathomable.
Wide receivers are notorious for being divas. We have seen it with players like Terrell Owens, Chad Johnson, and Randy Moss, while recently stars like Odell Beckham Jr. have received similar labels.
Antonio Brown’s tenure with the Oakland Raiders has been an unprecedented roller coaster, and I fully expect HBO to produce a mini series detailing the event—Chernobyl could use a sequel. It all started with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Despite being one of their best receivers in history, the relationship between Pittsburgh and Brown slowly deteriorated over the recent seasons. CBS has an excellent timeline of the events leading up to this.
Then came the Helmet Saga. Akin to a child throwing a tantrum over not getting a chocolate bar, Brown’s fiasco with the Raiders started because he was unable to wear his previous helmet, one he had grown comfortable with. For the longest time, he would not accept an alternative. It was either his helmet or nothing at all. This, obviously, created a lot of tension in the locker room, in the fan base, and in the media. Coupled with a case on frostbite on his feet, it certainly has been a bizarre offseason for the Raiders.
With the regular season about to roll around, suddenly chaos erupted. Words were exchanged. Punches were nearly thrown. Petty shade was everywhere, and Antonio Brown was at the center of all of it. It all culminated with his release. Sometimes, life is stranger than fiction.
So if you are a Detroit Lions fan, do you want this on your team?
From a pure football perspective, it makes sense. Antonio Brown is one of the premier receivers in the league, even at 31 years old. The Lions have some good receivers in Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones Jr., and Danny Amendola, but they all struggle with creating separation. Brown would certainly be an upgrade to a team looking to make an impact before their window closes.
The Patriots have a history of signing troubled WRs, so perhaps Matt Patricia inherited that tendency from Bill Belichick, and he can wrangle Brown’s personality. As previously mentioned, the Patriots were able to rekindle Randy Moss’s career. And there could be mutual interest from Brown. Patricia has proven to be a draw to some talented players, as evidenced by Mike Daniels’ eagerness to sign in Detroit this summer.
Unfortunately, this is not Madden. You cannot simply plug-and-play someone into the roster. In the past, I have firmly been against signing troubled players. Kareem Hunt was someone I wanted the Lions to stay away from. However, had they signed him, it certainly would have been an improvement for the roster. Antonio Brown, though, is not an improvement.
As I mentioned before, he is a talented wide receiver. Nonetheless, he has established himself as an absolute locker room cancer. He is a me-first football player, and his Raiders teammates are apparently happy to see him gone:
Raiders offensive player in text to me: “Everyone is happy he’s gone. We’re tired of the drama. Time for us to be a team again.”— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 7, 2019
Could you handle the media circus, as well as the downright absurd personality of an elite wide receiver?
I believe that this would be a monumental risk to the Lions. These players have spent all offseason working together and growing as a team. By bringing in someone like Brown, you invite all sorts of drama from a player that oozes toxicity. He could destroy this team.
I do not want him on this team, and neither should you.
everyone’s nobody’s surprise, Brown is signing with the New England Patriots.
Antonio Brown has agreed to terms with the Patriots, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2019