By: Ryan Cooley
Antonio Brown was known as one of, if not the best, wide receiver in the NFL. Then he began to cause problems in the locker room of Pittsburgh and Oakland. Since being cut by New England, AB has yet to find a new home.
On Monday, Brown took to social media to announce his retirement from the NFL, which would be his third time in less than a year. I highly doubt if a team threw a contract at him, he would refuse to play. Brown is most likely frustrated with teams not calling him, but he must realize going on social media rants will only hurt his chances to get back on an NFL roster.
Washington’s receiving core is full of young/unproven players. Many believe they should sign a veteran WR that can have an impact while the younger players are developing. This has led to some wanting Washington to give Antonio Brown another shot in the NFL.
Here are four reasons why Washington could consider signing Antonio Brown.
Emanuel Hall tore his Achilles in June. Hall had an uphill climb to make the roster, but now he will have to wait until 2021 to prove himself. Kelvin Harmon’s season is also over as he tore his ACL last week. This was a big blow because Harmon was fighting for a starting position.
Two injuries to the WR position before training camp has even started is far from ideal. They are now one injury away from being in desperation mode. If Terry McLaurin or Steven Sims went down, Washington would have no choice but to sign a WR or two.
Signing AB would give them not only talent but some insurance as well in case another injury occurs.
They Wanted a Top Tier WR
In free agency, Rivera attempted to sign Cowboys’ WR Amari Cooper. In fact, they offered Cooper more money than Dallas did. He ended up taking a discount to stay with the Cowboys on a 5-year deal worth $100 million.
This goes to show that Rivera wanted another high-end WR to pair with Terry McLaurin. While they didn’t get Cooper, Rivera may be interested in Brown.
There is no denying that AB is one of the top WRs in the game when he is on the field. Excluding 2019, Brown has averaged over 1,500 yards per season since 2013. Defenses would have a difficult time covering AB and McLaurin.
He Would Help Haskins
I recently wrote an article on whether or not Haskins will find success in 2020. A big factor in this will be how effective his receiving core ends up being. McLaurin is the only WR that has proven himself. That does not bode well for Haskins.
When a team is trying to find out if their QB can be their franchise guy, they must put him in a position to succeed. This means they have to surround him with weapons. As of now, they have not done this. I like Steven Sims and Antonio Gandy-Golden, but they are not guaranteed to play at a high level.
Adding Brown would instantly give Haskins enough weapons and allow Washington to see if he is the real deal.
They Can Sign him to a Low-Risk Deal
Many are worried that AB will be a distraction in the locker room and cause more chaos than production. While this could end up being true, they would be smart to give a low-risk contract. I do not think Brown’s price would be too high as he needs to prove himself to the entire league.
Offering him a one-year deal worth $7-8 million and only $2-3 million guaranteed could be a contract both sides agree on. If he begins to cause problems, cut him. Washington has enough cap space to eat the $2-3 million.
Even if Washington decides to pass on Antonio Brown, I believe they need to sign another WR after the injury to Kelvin Harmon. Josh Gordon would be a great fit. He has recently asked to be reinstated in the league. The NFL has become more flexible on marijuana, and they cannot suspend players who test positive for it, only fine them. Due to this, I expect Gordon to be back in the NFL soon.
He would not have the same impact as Brown, but he would definitely help out the offense.