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Is Antonio Brown worth the risk for the New Orleans Saints?

A gamble on Antonio Brown would be difficult for the Saints to pull off. But should they attempt at all?

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at New Orleans Saints Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

Can they afford him?

According to 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.

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.

Pittsburgh Steelers v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

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?

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?

What’s the worst that can happen?

Well, what does the world think? Let’s compare the good and the bad.

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.

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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.