The Raiders need to get quarterback Derek Carr weapons on offense and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is not just on the trading block, but getting him wouldn’t be as restrictive as one would assume and he could immediately help elevate Oakland’s aerial game.
Tony Pauline of Draft Analyst reported that “the Raiders will be in the mix for Antonio Brown when talks for trading the receiver are narrowed down.”
Pittsburgh seems to be getting tired of Brown’s antics. They are even willing to pay him a $ 2.5 million roster bonus just to see him hit the road, which means that they don’t have much leverage when it comes to getting fair compensation in return for the wide out. Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert has gone out of his way to support quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and give Brown the cold shoulder. Things could become awkward really quickly if Brown were to return.
Brown has said that he wants to get a new deal, but beggars are not choosers and his choices are either to return to Pittsburgh or suck it up and play under a deal that will pay him a little under $39 million over 3 years, not Top 3 wide receiver money, but not spare change either. Brown also has to show that he isn’t radioactive and will have to behave reasonably well. He needs to get teams to see that his comportment was caused by how he was treated and not the other way around, so if he’s traded, he will have to keep a relatively low profile.
Because of how the situation is playing out, the Raiders have everything that is needed to land Brown. Head coach Jon Gruden is not the kind that enables players and even though he still can wear many players down, he call sell Brown the idea of becoming the focal point of the offense and playing under the spotlight.
Oakland has both the draft picks and the salary cap to make a trade happen. They need all the talent they can get to turn the team around and Brown has at least two or three good years on him. The Raiders should play hardball and offer a third and a conditional pick. Even without those two picks, they would still have many choices.
Antonio Brown carries some baggage with him, but his talent is undeniable. He can benefit from a fresh start and the Raiders will get a playmaker in return.