With Super Bowl 53 well behind us, all eyes are focused on the 2019 offseason. The NFL Draft, free agency, and possible trades will be the topics of conversation going forward. For every team in the NFL, they will be looking to make moves to improve their rosters for next season. One of the players who could possibly be traded this offseason is Antonio Brown.
According to multiple sources, Brown was held out of the game due to an incident on Wednesday before the game. The teammate he had a confrontation with has not been confirmed but has been rumored to be Ben Roethlisberger.
The Steelers owner—Art Rooney II—has stated it’s “hard to envision” Brown being with the team come the time of training camp. He also said they would not release him but “all other options are on the table”. That’s not what you like to hear as a Steelers fan—as the Steelers have become the Kardashians of the NFL.
If Brown is in fact traded, here are three dark horse teams who should look to acquire Brown’s services.
3. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks are a team who should be looking to add more weapons around Russell Wilson. Thus, making someone like Brown a perfect target this offseason for the Seahawks. This season, the Seahawks finished with a record of 10-6 but fell short in the playoffs with a loss to the Dallas Cowboys in the Wild Card Round.
With all of the players they lost the previous offseason, the Seahawks weren’t supposed to be in the playoffs. The players who left or retired were Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Michael Bennett, Cliff Avril, and Paul Richardson.
You got to give credit to Pete Carroll and the Seahawks organization for willing themselves further than expected.
Nevertheless, Wilson and the Seahawks rushing attack led them to a playoff bid. Their defense wasn’t half bad either—even with Earl Thomas going down with an injury early on.
The problem lies within the offense where they lack an arsenal of weapons—especially in the passing game. Doug Baldwin, Tyler Lockett, and David Moore highlighted their wide receiver group.
An All-Pro like Brown could add another layer to the Seahawks offense and create plenty of opportunities for Wilson to make plays. In a division where you have the high-scoring Los Angeles Rams, you need an offense who can put up points with them.
Someone like Brown could help the cause of trying to reach the Rams at the top of the NFC West.
2. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals could be a surprising candidate in the Brown sweepstakes. With the hire of Kliff Kingsbury as head coach, they will definitely be looking to upgrade on the offensive side of the ball.
With Josh Rosen under center and David Johnson leading the backfield, the Cardinals lack a big-time wide receiver. That’s where Brown comes into play.
Larry Fitzgerald has decided to return on a one-year deal with the Cardinals. Fitzgerald isn’t the same wideout he once was but can still be reliable.
Christian Kirk flashed signs of potential but wasn’t consistent. Furthermore, acquiring Brown could benefit everyone involved in this trade.
A trade for Brown would expedite the development of Rosen, help make Johnson more dangerous, and help someone like Kirk learn from one of the best.
Again, just like the Seahawks, the Cardinals know they need to do something fast to keep up with the Rams in the NFC West.
If Kingsbury was able to land someone of Brown’s caliber, the Cardinals offense could be one of the most improved offenses next season.
1. Carolina Panthers
The Carolina Panthers are one of my favorite landing spots for Brown this offseason. The only thing that could prevent this deal is the lack of cap space that the Panthers will have (an estimated $18-19 million).
As we all know, Cam Newton recently got surgery to repair his throwing shoulder and hopes to be ready for training camp. Newton has always lacked weapons with his tenure with the Panthers.
With Brown added to the roster, that would be washed anew. You put Brown, McCaffrey, D.J. Moore, and Curtis Samuel together and you have a dynamic group of weapons.
If the Panther chooses to re-sign him, Devin Funchess could be added into that mix.
What also helps is that Norv Turner is the offensive coordinator—making the offense that much more dangerous. The Panthers would be wise to see if there’s a way to land the budding superstar.
Newton isn’t getting any younger and it is hard to keep him healthy. When he is asked to do so much for this offense, Newton puts himself in bad situations—usually with his legs. Adding Brown could lift part of the burden off of Newton’s shoulders and make things easier on him.
I would not count out the Panthers in acquiring the disgruntled wide receiver if they are able to create room financially. The city of Carolina would rejoice at the sight of Newton having a go-to-guy.