The Oakland Raiders made it official after midnight that they traded for former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Well, here we go again. We thought Antonio Brown was headed to Buffalo a few days ago, but that didn’t work out like we thought. However, this ones for real. Antonio Brown is now a member of the Oakland Raiders. He tweeted it out himself, saying hello to Raider Nation.
This ends up being a major, major win for Brown himself. As much as everyone hated what Brown was doing, it’s hard to say it didn’t work. The Raiders immediately gave him a reworked contract that pays him more than $30 million over the next three years fully guaranteed, as reported first by Pro Football Talk.
The Raiders are getting one of the best receivers in the game. They finally have a marketable star to take with them to Las Vegas. It will likely put the questions about their stadium situation behind them, and Jon Gruden may be the kind of coach to get the most out of Brown. He’s enough of a players coach to bring out his personality, but enough of a disciplinarian to keep him in line.
Obviously, Brown gets a major downgrade at the quarterback position, He goes from Ben Roethlisberger, who’s still a top-10 QB in this league, to either Derek Carr or possibly a rookie in Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins. Brown is the type of player who can elevate the man under center, but life will be much easier on the field with Big Ben than Carr or a rookie.
However, the drama level is much less with these QBs than it was with Roethlisberger. Brown can let his star shine without his quarterback stepping in. He can let his personality shine with the Raiders, and honestly with their fanbase in question he might be a perfect fit. Sure, he’s looked at as a distraction now, but he got his money. It’s fully guaranteed. He’s now the highest paid wide receiver in the league. There’s nothing left for him to complain about, and now he can just go play football.
The Raiders only had to give up a third and fifth-round pick to get one of the best players at his position. They still have three first-round picks in this year’s draft. They have the pieces now to turn this around rather quickly if they get the right QB.
The great news is this saga is over. Now we can move on and focus on the on-field impact. Bigger than anything else, this is a win for football fans, because we can focus on free agency and the NFL Draft, and we can stop talking about Mr. Big Chest.