Antonio Brown is one of the most talented receivers alive, but he can’t stay out of trouble. Will a team take a chance on the free agent this year? Seattle and Baltimore reportedly are both interested. Here are Brown’s odds at Mybookie to win 2020 NFL Comeback Player of the Year as well as the Ravens’ over/under win total, because we think that’s where Brown may end up (if anywhere).
If Brown has never played another NFL game, he would probably still be a Hall of Famer, but he might have gone down as arguably the second-best wideout in history behind Jerry Rice if he wasn’t such a knucklehead off the field who couldn’t stay out of trouble or the new.
The former sixth-round pick out of Central Michigan exploded in his second season in 2011 with the Steelers, becoming the first player in NFL history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same year. In 2013, he became the only receiver in league history to record five receptions and at least 50 yards in every single game of regular season.
Brown led the league in receptions and receiving yards in 2014, receptions in 2015, receiving yards in 2017 and receiving touchdowns in 2018. Since Brown entered the league in 2010, he leads the league in receptions, receiving yards, and touchdown receptions
However, his relationship with the Steelers deteriorated in that 2018 campaign. It all began late during the season when Brown got into a heated dispute with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. The dispute was serious enough that Brown didn’t play in the team’s season finale against the Bengals, a game that held playoff implications. Brown requested a trade due to his issues with both Roethlisberger and coach Mike Tomlin.
The Steelers would trade him in March 2019 to the Oakland Raiders for a third-round and fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft. That would prove to be a heist for Pittsburgh because Brown would never play a down for the Raiders even though the team gave him a three-year contract worth $50.125 million.
On the even of the 2019 season and after multiple training camp fines, the Raiders released Brown, which cost him $30 million in guaranteed money.
“We just have exhausted everything,” Coach Jon Gruden said of cutting Brown. “We tried every way possible to make it work. All I’m gonna say is, it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you I am very proud of what we did as an organization to try.”
The Patriots signed Brown but he played just one game before being released due to some troubling off-field sexual assault allegations. Brown got into more trouble this past January, fighting with a delivery truck driver outside his Florida home. Brown was charged with felony burglary conveyance, misdemeanor battery and misdemeanor criminal mischief from his January arrest.
Earlier this month, Brown pled no contest to felony battery charges from that case and was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and serve two years’ probation.
So in theory, a team could sign Brown now but he’s reportedly looking at around an eight-game suspension from the NFL whenever he does for all his issues. The Seahawks and Ravens reportedly had internal discussions about signing Brown as both could use help at receiver and both are Super Bowl contenders. Brown worked out in Miami this offseason with Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who is on record as supporting signing Brown, and young receiver Marquise Brown – who is Antonio’s cousin.
ESPN reported this week, though, that the Ravens are not being considered as a “potential future destination” for Brown. Thus, it could be Seattle or bust for Brown to play in 2020. Russell Wilson reportedly “love” for the Seahawks to sign Brown.
He’s certainly talented enough to help any team and won NFL Comeback Player of the Year, but he obviously has to get on the field first.