Wide receiver Antonio Brown could be “a distraction” for the Raiders just the way he was for the Steelers, but so far, he hasn’t given any indications it’s going to turn that way and on the contrary, he will be one of the players that will catapult Oakland back to respectability.
Brown was a popular player on a perennial playoff team in Pittsburgh, becoming a franchise player as he earned All-Pro honors. All that seemingly came to an end during the 2018 season when Brown went absent for the Steelers season finale. That was the beginning of the end and after back-and-forward shots with his peers throughout the offseason, Pittsburgh shipped Brown to the Raiders in exchange for a third round and a fifth pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
After a subpar 2018 season, Oakland’s head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock signed many impact (and costly) players in free agency to improve a Raiders team that finished 4-12. Brown wasn’t a free agent per se, but was acquired around the same time.
It was “said” it was just a matter of time before Brown broke the locker room apart and that he was going to be the cause of division among players in Oakland but that hasn’t exactly come to fruition yet.
So far, Brown has been an exemplary citizen and he’s even seemed to have developed chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. Other than complaining about a high-end shoe brand’s new models and talk back at former teammates, Brown hasn’t done much other than sit back and let the 2019 Raiders draft class make the noise (in a good way).
Brown definitely has got a personality, he’s human after all, and even though he shouldn’t have gone public with his feud, his impact on the field will exponentially overshadow any potential downside. He’s that good and despite the fact Gruden always speaks in superlatives, he says Brown is “the hardest worker he’s ever seen“. That’s high praise from a man that once coached Jerry Rice, the best wide receiver ever.
If Tweeting some childish stuff is the worst Brown can do, I feel good about the prospect of him helping the Raiders make it to the playoffs.