The NFL finally announced the punishment for Antonio Brown which means that teams have a clearer of view of what they’re getting if they sign him. First reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2020 regular season. Multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy are what led to the suspension of Brown.
The suspension will begin on September 5th regardless if Brown is on a roster or not. The suspension will either run through week 8 of the regular season or his teams 8th game if he’s signed by then. About two weeks ago Brown made some headlines by announcing his retirement via Twitter. However, it was a short lived retirement because just a couple of days later Brown took to Instagram to call out Roger Goodell and the NFL regarding his status with the league. Brown must have caught their attention because he now has clarity on the situation.
Brown may have made some bad headlines in the past two seasons but when he’s on the field, he’s the best WR in the game. Since 2013, Brown leads the league in catches, TD’s and ranks second in yards. All while only playing in one game in the 2019 season. Even with his recent off-field troubles, I don’t think teams will be able to pass on his talent. He should have a clearer road to a roster spot now that teams know when he’ll be available to play. Let’s take a look at some of the best possible landing spots for Antonio Brown.
Brown and the Seahawks have been tied together in multiple reports over the course of the last year. Back in September, Pete Carroll made a statement confirming Seattle’s interest in Brown if the opportunity presented itself. Wilson also campaigned for the signing of Brown. In late January, Russell Wilson made headlines by putting a little pressure on GM John Schneider to bring in more weapons on offense. Schneider responded by signing TE Greg Olsen, WR Philip Dorsett and RB Carlos Hyde.
Then in May, it was reported by ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton that Russell Wilson would love to pursue Antonio Brown. The feeling is mutual as NFL insider Mike Garafalo revealed that sources told him that Brown wants to go to Seattle. Wilson has never had a chance to play with a star WR like Antonio Brown. That’s not to disrespect current Seattle WR’s Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf but Brown is elite. Wilson has put up MVP level numbers in his last three seasons so a pairing with Brown would be lethal. NFC teams should beware if this ends up happening.
Lamar Jackson is another QB that wants his team to pursue Antonio Brown. There’s been multiple occasions where Jackson has spoke about the Ravens signing Brown. He said he’d be “happy” if Brown was signed by Baltimore. Jackson had a throwing session with Brown back in April and on Wednesday he spoke highly of Brown’s character according to Sports Illustrated. Then yesterday on “First Call” Jackson said “I was hoping we would get him. Still hoping, a little bit.” The reigning NFL MVP is going full force in a push for Brown.
The Ravens are a run first team but Lamar is still growing as a passer. Adding Brown could speed up that process. Jackson led the league in passing TD’s but the Ravens lacked a consistent threat at WR. Brown would immediately become the top receiving threat for the Ravens and he could be the piece that gets them to the Super Bowl. He’s had trouble on his last three teams so there’s always a risk but the Ravens have a solid foundation with great leadership. I think Brown fits in with their culture.
Green Bay Packers
There haven’t been any reports linking the Packers and Brown. This one is all about fit and doing what’s right by Aaron Rodgers. In a 2020 NFL Draft class that was loaded at WR, the Packers chose to select QB Jordan Love with their first round draft pick. This isn’t a knock on Love because he has tremendous talent. But most thought the packers would look to surround Rodgers with more weapons on offense. Instead they chose to plan for the future. Green Bay didn’t select a WR at all in the 2020 Draft. Even with their depth chart looking like this at WR:
The Packers don’t have a consistent threat outside of Devante Adams at WR. Devin Funchess was signed to bolster their receiving corps but he recently opted out of the 2020 season. Signing Brown would give the Packers the top WR tandem in the league and arguably the league’s two best route runners. This would free up Devante Adams as he would face less double teams. It would truly be a “pick your poison” type of scenario and defenses across the league would have a headache trying to stop them. With Rodgers being 36 years old and entering his 16th season, this could be one his last chances at a Super Bowl run. If your Green Bay, why not go all in?
One of the biggest moves of the NFL off-season was the Texans trade of Deandre Hopkins. He was traded to the Arizona Cardinals along with a fourth round pick in return for RB David Johnson, a second round draft pick and a 2021 fourth round draft pick. Not getting a first round pick in return is one of the biggest blunders of Bill O’brien’s career as head coach/GM. Adding a WR of Antonio Brown’s caliber could be enough for the fanbase to forgive him.
The Texans WR room isn’t bare. They added Brandin Cooks and Randall Cobb in the off-season to go along with Will Fuller and Randall Cobb. Four quality WR’s but no true number one option. Cobb, Cooks and Fuller have all dealt with injuries throughout their career. Signing Brown would give them depth and Watson would have an elite WR to target. Watson is a star QB that has enough talent to lead Houston to wins with the current roster they have so it’s not likely that they’ll sign Antonio. But if they do the Texans could be the favorites to win the AFC South.
Washington Football Team
Washington is looking to get the organization back on track. Dwayne Haskins had a rocky rookie season but showed some flashes in the last two games. He faced a lot of scrutiny from the media last season so he’s under a lot of pressure to this season. Ron Rivera was brought in as the new head coach and he has no ties to Haskins since he didn’t draft him. If Haskins struggles this season then Rivera could feel the need to move on in favor of a QB that he picks out. This is one of the biggest reasons why I feel like Washington should pursue Antonio Brown.
Terry Mclaurin had a great rookie season and he looks like a stud but there’s still room for another receiving threat. Mclaurin and Brown would give Haskins two top notch WR’s that both produce well after the catch. This would be great for the development of Haskins and it would take a lot of pressure off of him. Haskins wouldn’t have to do much to get him the ball because Brown is great at getting open. Mclaurin’s game would open up even more as he wouldn’t be covered by opposing teams top CB anymore. It’s a great match on the field. If Washington wants Haskins to succeed in his second season then this is something that they should at least consider.