On Thursday January 10th, Steelers owner Art Rooney II made a statement that it would be “hard to envision” Antonio Brown back on the Steelers roster come training camp. One thing that has been made clear by the Steelers management team is they will not be releasing Brown, and that a trade may be the only thing on the table when it comes to this player.
- San Francisco 49ers
- Buffalo Bills
- Oakland Raiders
- New York Jets
There are a few other teams that I would add to this list including the New England Patriots, but for today’s article I would like to focus on the Buffalo Bills and list several thumbs up and thumbs down on this potential trade.
The Buffalo Bills have really lacked a #1 Receiver since Stevie Johnson. Now some would make an argument for Sammy Watkins, but with time he spent on the injury list I am not prepared to assign this label to Watkins. Antonio Brown would automatically fill this role for the Buffalo Bills, as he brings plenty of experience and would be a great option for QB Josh Allen. The Bills’ management must surround their young QB with talent. The arrival of Brown would also help free up space for their younger receivers Zay Jones and Robert Foster, which will improve their overall production in the 2019-20 season.
My number one Thumbs down is Brown’s leadership qualities. Watching from a distance what took place to end the 2018-19 season for the Steelers, Brown played a very ugly role. Missing practices, followed by his video with former Steelers LB James Harrison mocking HC Mike Tomlin was very unprofessional. There have been numerous stories about his constant battles with QB Big Ben and OC, as Brown was not happy with the number of targets. My major concern is that Brown is a “me-guy” rather than someone who looks out for what’s best for the team.
Brown is a true weapon on any offence, producing 837 receptions, 11207 receiving yards, and 74 receiving TD’s in his career. He has played on many Playoff teams and should he turn his leadership qualities around he could provide much knowledge to the Bills young offensive group. Although Brown is 30 years old, he is showing no signs of slowing down and with the Bills having approx. $90 Million in Cap space, they have the budget to make this deal work.
What will the cost be to get Brown, that is the big question. Buyers have an advantage at this point in my opinion due to the above mentioned comments from the Steelers owner. The Bills have 10 draft picks coming up in 2019 and they would have been using 1 if not 2 of these picks on hopeful WRs with no guarantee of these options working out. Can they part ways with the 9th pick overall for Brown? The Bills have a number of needs heading into the draft and some of these needs will be addressed in free agency. Although, WR and Offensive Line are definitely their biggest needs heading into the draft, one of which Brown instantly fills.
I have been very critical of Antonio Brown on recent episodes of our podcast, questioning his leadership, and antics both on and off the field. At first when I heard Buffalo being a potential landing spot for Brown, my initial thought was that there is no way this guy fits McDermott’s culture. However, when I took a step back and looked deeper at this possibility with a wider view, it’s not often you get an opportunity to sign a player with Brown’s abilities.
Brandon Beane the Bills GM, has already proved that he has the ability to make trades for players that are in the benefit of the Buffalo Bills, but he took and swing and missed on Kelvin Benjamin. If Beane and McDermott do their due diligence and they feel that Brown would not damage the culture and bring a leadership quality to the Bills, then he could be a great addition for their young QB.
The playoffs are not even close to finished yet but there are definitely some exciting things to come for the Buffalo Bills heading into the offseason!