There were rumblings during the offseason that the Washington Redskins had an interest in trading for Antonio Brown. Thankfully, he went to the Oakland Raiders and the Redskins avoided a potential disaster.
When Antonio Brown first entered the trade market during the offseason, there was understandably plenty of serious interest across the league. After all, Brown had long been one of the NFL’s best receivers and had posted at least 100 receptions in six straight seasons. And in 2018, he had recorded a league-high 15 touchdowns.
However, there were some concerns with Brown as well. He did miss the team’s final game of the season after skipping practices for supposedly getting into an argument with Ben Roethlisberger. That was a must-win game for the team as they looked to stay in the playoff race, so it was concerning that he didn’t practice in the lead-up to the game. And after the season, he did request a trade.
That didn’t stop the Redskins from showing interest in Brown. As was reported shortly before Brown was traded, the Redskins were among three teams that were most interested in adding Brown. That included the Oakland Raiders and Tennessee Titans. And the Raiders ended up trading for Brown. But so far, he has been nothing but trouble for the AFC West squad.
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Brown has spent most of the offseason stirring up unnecessary drama with the Raiders. He evidently gave himself frostbite by not wearing proper footwear in a cryogenic chamber. That caused him to miss most of training camp as a result. Then, Brown continued to fight the NFL about having to wear a different helmet during the 2019 season. And at one point during that time, he even threatened to retire.
But in the coming days, things have continued to be contentious between Brown and the team. It all started when Brown posted a letter from Raiders GM Mike Mayock to his Instagram story. The letter outlined the fines that Brown was to receive for missing some offseason programs, and Brown evidently didn’t like that he was being fined. That led to an altercation with general manager Mike Mayock over the issue where Brown threatened to punch him in the face. And now, Brown isn’t at Raiders practice and could be suspended.
That’s quite a lot of drama. Even given his talent level and the fact that he was acquired fairly cheap, in exchange for third and fifth-round draft picks, that isn’t worth it. It’s possible that Brown won’t even play a down in Oakland now as they could try to move on from him if his attitude doesn’t change.
With that said, the Redskins certainly avoided a disaster by not trading for Brown. It made little sense for a non-contender to trade for a 31-year-old receiver anyway, but the Redskins were still in the mix. By not giving up what seemed like relatively little to get Brown, the ‘Skins avoided all of the drama that could’ve come with Brown. And for a young team that is looking to build a culture and identity moving forward, that is massive.
While Brown would’ve been the most talented receiver in Washington, this type of attitude wouldn’t have been worth the trouble. Plus, the team would’ve sacrificed Terry McLaurin and one of Ross Pierschbacher or Cole Holcomb to match what the Raiders paid to get Brown.
At this point, McLaurin seems more stable than Brown and definitely has long-term upside. Rolling with him and some other young players (Kelvin Harmon, Steven Sims, Robert Davis) in a young receiving corps may not work, but at least it won’t have a massive negative impact on the locker room as Brown could have.
We’ll have to see what ends up happening with Brown, but right now, the Redskins’ decision not to ultimately pull the trigger on any deal looks like a good one.