The threat of losing $30 million wasn’t enough to get Antonio Brown to do things like attend walkthroughs, not disrupt practices to fight with the general manager and not post a phone call with his head coach.
If a team thinks Brown will come in and immediately be a good teammate, it’s possible they have not seen a news update since the start of August. When you bring in Antonio Brown, you’re inviting a circus into your locker room. Ask Mike Tomlin. Ask Jon Gruden.
But, desperation rules in the NFL. Coaches have egos and they all think that even though two Super Bowl-winning head coaches couldn’t deal with Brown, they can. Brown is a Hall-of-Fame talent. Some team is going to fool themselves into thinking it can work. Good luck.
So here are five possible destinations for Brown, who is free to sign with anyone as of Saturday afternoon following his release from the Raiders.
5. Pittsburgh Steelers
5. New England Patriots
They make the list only because every third tweet mentions the possibility. It’s practically impossible to believe BIll Belichick, who values players who love playing football, would sign Brown. It would go against every move and philosophy Belichick has displayed. This isn’t Randy Moss all over again. Brown has shown no inclination to even want to play football this season. But, who knows? Belichick surprises us sometimes.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Once upon a time, Andy Reid dealt with Terrell Owens. Would he want to deal with Brown? Maybe not. But this is another team that is willing to take on players who create off-field headlines. And just imagine that offense with Brown (assuming he would actually do things like attend meetings and play).
3. Baltimore Ravens
If Brown wants to play his old team, the Ravens-Steelers rivalry is still alive and well. Lamar Jackson has some promising rookie receivers to throw to, but they’re still rookies. It’s also worth noting that first-round pick Marquise Brown, a dynamic receiver who played at Oklahoma, is Antonio’s cousin. It’s not the most natural fit, a receiver who thrives on volume in a run-first offense, but it’s possible.
2. Houston Texans
Oddly, the only two NFL teams Brown was following on Instagram on Saturday afternoon were the Raiders (that will probably change soon) and the Texans. Does that mean anything? Of course not. But the Texans have been as erratic as Brown lately. If Bill O’Brien is going all-in on this season, why not gamble on Brown too? A Brown-DeAndre Hopkins combination would be ridiculous, though that assumes Brown would actually calm down long enough to play football.
1. Seattle Seahawks
It makes sense. The Seahawks need receivers. They have taken on players with baggage before, assuming their culture can take over. Seattle’s willingness to trade for Jadeveon Clowney on what could be a one-year rental speaks to their mindset about this season. If Brown is thinking clearly, a one-year deal playing with Russell Wilson could help him get beyond the Raiders fiasco and head back to free agency again. Stay tuned.
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