It’s the NFL off-season once again, which means several high profile names will be in discussion for relocation. One of those names of course is soon-to-be ex Pittsburgh Steelers star and four time all-pro wide receiver Antonio Brown.
There has been much discussion as to where the disgruntled 30 year old Brown will land as not only is he looking for a pay day, but a winning situation and a supportive locker room.
On Instagram Live, Antonio Brown said:— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 19, 2019
*”If your team got guaranteed money, they want to get to know me and work with me, tell them to call me.”
*He now wants to be known not as “A.B.” but as “Mr. Big Chest.”
.@AB84 isn't holding back on what he's looking for in a new team. pic.twitter.com/wkqw5Fb0wC— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) February 19, 2019
How does this concern the Saints?
The Steelers are reportedly aiming to send Brown to an NFC team versus any circumstance that would require them to face Brown regularly in the AFC. While there’s a few other NFC teams that make sense for Brown’s services, NOLA could offer the best immediate winning situation and one of the NFL’s best locker rooms.
It’s no secret the Saints are all in on a chance at another shot at a Super Bowl and would make an attractive destination for any top level talent looking to fill a need. And while New Orleans doesn’t have many holes, adding a receiving talent of Brown’s elite skill set next to Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn could reign in the finishing touches on a long awaited trip back towards a championship. Not to mention, Drew Brees isn’t getting any younger.
AB needs a hall of fame qb, an offensive master mind/hc that’s gonna put him in the best position to succeed now, and a team that’s in Super Bowl mode Not many of those out there but there is one - Saints who are in the NFC which would satisfy the Steelers wish ... just a guess— Booger (@ESPNBooger) February 19, 2019
The @Saints got robbed. They will do anything in their power to make it unfair for teams next year. That’s why I feel they should go after @AB84— Nader Mirfiq (@Nader723) February 19, 2019
Can they afford him?
According to spotrac.com the Saints have a little bit over nine million dollars left in cap space as we stand today. Their first priority however, should be trying to resign core talent and running back Mark Ingram. And as we mentioned earlier, wherever Brown lands he will be expecting a big payday. The average eye would take those factors and throw the possibility of Antonio Brown in NOLA out of any window of consideration. But talents like Brown don’t become available often and we can’t forget the things Mickey Loomis can do with even the smallest amounts of cap space. If there’s a will, there’s a way.
Basic Mickey Loomisnomics methodology laughs at salary cap space being an issue for the Saints being able to land big free agents— John Hendrix (@JohnJHendrix) February 20, 2019
What would he cost via trade?
Anytime a star wide-receiver is up for trade the first name that comes to mind in regards to compensation is Randy Moss. In 2007, Moss was once traded at the age of 30 to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round pick.
Moss however, wasn’t the only Hall of Famer wideout traded for draft compensation in his era as Terrell Owens was moved for a second round pick to the Baltimore Ravens in 2004. Owens would ultimately end up in Philadelphia due to a free agency mixup, but the deal Baltimore had originally put together for T.O was genuine. Could Brown be in for a similar fate?
"Antonio Brown is overestimating the market for him and his value. But if I'm New Orleans, I might be willing to give up my 2nd-round pick for him. With Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas, that could be an electric offense. They're in win-now mode." — @Chris_Broussard pic.twitter.com/2F6VSBeIcu— First Things First (@FTFonFS1) February 20, 2019
Since the days of Moss and Owens however, the trade market for wide receivers has shifted. With the Saints being limited in draft resources and without a first-round pick, would they pull the trigger on their second?
Amari Cooper,AMARI COOPER, was traded for a 1st rd pick— Bryan McNightmare (@Public_B_Enemy) February 20, 2019
Brandin Cooks, BRANDIN I BEEN ON 3 TEAMS IN 3 YRS COOKS, was traded for a 1st rd pick TWICE!!!
But some of y’all(like Chris Broussard) think AB, arguably the best WR in the NFL is gonna traded for less than a 1st pic.twitter.com/JrMrahHtHY
#Saints fans... would you trade 2nd round pick for Antonio Brown?— T-Bob Hebert (@TBob53) February 18, 2019
What’s the worst that can happen?
Well, what does the world think? Let’s compare the good and the bad.
Is the Saints trading for Antonio Brown a bad? Maybe. But bad ideas are fun.— Ralph Malbrough (@SaintsForecast) February 20, 2019
Bad ideas are what makes America the BEST. The economy wouldn’t function without bad ideas. In closing, Trade for Antonio Brown #Saints and BECOME LEGENDS pic.twitter.com/0U0cRy6U1S
If I ran an NFL team, I wouldn't take Antonio Brown if you gave him to me for nothing. More @Undisputed, now on FS1 https://t.co/dKRxDK4oFC— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) February 20, 2019
This was Antonio Brown's answer to a fan asking what caused the conflict between him and Ben Roethlisberger. pic.twitter.com/Oodfb71FrF— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) February 16, 2019
Remember how Michael Thomas co-existed with Brandin Cooks? That’s supposed to be different with a supremely talented nutjob diva like AB who makes 10x what MT makes? Y’all think he’s going to be fine with AB showing up? Delusional.— Andrew Juge (@AndrewJuge) February 20, 2019
No matter what side you stand on, the truth is the more talented you are, the more baggage a person or team will put up with on your behalf. AB finished last season with 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns, keeping himself in the conversation for best wide receiver in football once again. Teams will gamble on production like that in any case.
With a locker room led by Drew Brees and head coach Sean Payton the Saints may believe that they’re capable of accepting almost any type of personality if it means another shot at the Lombardi trophy.
If Brown’s negative antics and various attention gathering stunts were more about accountability throughout the Steelers franchise than a petulant act —NOLA may be more inclined than ever for his services.
But only time will tell if Brown’s personal issues were simply a coach, quarterback, and organizational problem, or Brown being immature and simply too focused on himself. With all of that said, should the Saints roll the dice and make a run at Brown? Fight it out in the comments below.