The Antonio Brown saga is at an end.
After rumors abound everyday since really the Steelers season ended and a near rumored trade with the Buffalo Bills happened Friday, Antonio Brown is an Oakland Raider.
To break down the trade, the Steelers send their prolific, yet controversial wide receiver to Oakland for a third round pick and a fifth round pick in this year’s NFL Draft.
Wait, what? Antonio Brown, probably the top receiver in football over the past 5 years gets a net return of a 3rd and 5th round draft pick. So let’s look at this for both sides
FOR THE RAIDERS: Remember how everybody ripped the Raiders for trading Khalil Mack? Well, they may have neutralized it with this move given how at least Oakland netted two first round picks from Chicago. Then the Raiders give Brown a new contract with $30 million in guaranteed money (as opposed to zero guaranteed money from Pittsburgh). It really speeds up the rebuilding process in Oakland now and Derek Carr has no excuses of having a solid weapon to throw at down the field. So now, it sets up the Raiders future pretty well with this as well as having two extra first rounders to help out this year. Does that make Oakland a contender in 2019? No, but the pieces are now set, perhaps for a run when they move to Las Vegas.
FOR THE STEELERS: Many say the Steelers got fleeced. But here’s how I look at it: money is an issue and attitude is an issue. Pittsburgh obviously wants to rid themselves of all aspects of a media circus, because well, let’s face it, Pittsburgh is not one to play the media circus bit. With Brown and Bell gone now from the Steel City, many should feel like it is an addition by subtraction bit. That’s fine. However, a third and fifth round return is a bit surprising. It really means that the Steelers were just ready to move on. It also sounded like Pittsburgh had no other options left on the table after the Buffalo deal fell through. So if this is the best that the Steelers got, okay.
Antonio Brown is a great receiver, but much like a large chunk of receivers we’ve seen over the past decade and even before, there seems to be that swag that if not unchecked, can really be more of an issue for that team than an asset. We’ve seen it with Owens, Bryant, Chad Ochocinco and others. None of those guys are wearing a Super Bowl ring. So Oakland while it is a good move for them, will have to find a way to keep Brown “in check” to get where they need to go. Pittsburgh on the other side, will have to get back to their roots a bit. We always remember when the Steelers were atop the NFL or near the top of it was nobody “elite” like Brown or Bell that did it for them, but guys who were very good and gelled as a cohesive unit. So again, and hate to be redundant, but this for Pittsburgh was an “addition-by-subtraction” thing for them. Now they can start over and return to what got them as a legit threat in the NFL.
MY OBSTRUCTED GRADES:
RAIDERS: A-. Getting an elite receiver for a 3rd and 5th rounder is excellent. If Brown can get along with his teammates in Oakland, then this is an A+. If he doesn’t, then this will smell of a Randy Moss move where we won’t hear from him again until whenever the Raiders trade him to New England.
STEELERS: B-. The Steelers needed to get rid of him. Too much drama on a franchise that is more about business as usual than as the local sports radio station I listen to call it “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” They don’t work like that and whenever they do, it never pans out well for them. But for a third and fifth round pick? That’s where I think many people feel like they got fleeced.
-Fan in the Obstructed Seat