After nine remarkable years, including a record-breaking year in touchdown catches this year with 15, Antonio Brown has made it desperately clear that he is ready to move on from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Even after meeting with Steelers owner Art Rooney II on Tuesday, both parties agreed it was the right decision to go their separate ways.
The Steelers also agreed to begin cooperating with trade offers, but would they ever trade Brown to an AFC foe like the New England Patriots?
According to former quarterback Chris Simms, the Patriots were “aggressively pursuing” Odell Beckham Jr. last year, which exposes the fact that the Patriots are clearly in the market for a game-changing wide receiver.
As of February 19th, Brown is officially on the trade market. If the Steelers are simply handing Brown to the highest bidder, then the Patriots may be in luck.
The Patriots made eight draft-day trades during last years NFL draft, setting a franchise record. Most of these trades included the team trading down in the draft, giving them the exact ammo they need to go acquire Antonio Brown.
Here are 3 reasons the Patriots are the best fit for him.
3. Winning fixes everything
The Patriots are known as a well-oiled juggernaut that no one in the NFL seems to be able to stop. Many things factor into the Patriots remarkable success, such as the front office as well as what occurs in the locker room, in the film room etc..
What you will never see from the Patriots is drama, and if there is ever a sliver of drama sniffed out by Bill Belichick, then the odds anyone involved remaining on the team are slim to none.
A key component of keeping your team together, on the same page, and drama free is by winning. The Patriots are a winning organization. They win on the field, in the film room, on the practice field, you name it.
Whether Antonio Brown becomes a Patriot or not, the Patriots will remain a winning organization and if Brown was gifted the opportunity to play for the Patriots, where he was winning, and also in a great environment, you would think his frustration and antics would digress if not disappear entirely.
The Brown drama in Pittsburgh has been boiling for years, but notice how it came to a breaking point once the Steelers missed the playoffs in 2018. This is the first time the Steelers have missed the playoffs in the past five years.
It’s extremely common for players and coaches to get frustrated and upset when they are losing games week in and week out. People start to point fingers, and the fan base is booing you at your own home games. It can be absolutely brutal.
It can also all change in a heartbeat. Simply by being put into a different environment, on a different team, where you have a fresh start to show the world what you are truly capable of.
Antonio Brown recently stated in an Instagram Live on February 18th, “If you one of those teams out there where the camaraderie bad, the energy bad, the players are haters, I don’t want to play there.” He also went on to say, “If your squad out there wants to win and your squad wants a hungry wide receiver who is the best in the whole world, someone hit my phone.”
Brown has made it clear from the start that he simply wants to win and be in a winning environment. If Brown is sent to the Patriots, the negative noise surrounding him will vanish, and be replaced by talks of him being the best receiver to ever play in the NFL.
2. Every receiver the Patriots trade for turns into gold
When you think of the best receivers to ever play for the Patriots, you probably think of Randy Moss, Deion Branch, Wes Welker, and a few others.
Those three receivers alone were all acquired by the Patriots via trade. Each one of them resurrected their careers in unique ways after arriving in New England.
Randy Moss solidified himself as a Hall of Famer, while Deion Branch and Wes Welker will forever be known for their reliability during each of their respective Super Bowl runs.
There is a lot of buzz around what the asking price will be for Antonio Brown. Many people think it will take multiple first round picks, while others say it may only take a day two draft selection.
Moss was traded to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick at age 30 in 2007. Brown is also 30 years old, with many healthy years under his belt.
The asking price for Brown may be hefty, which should not be a problem for the Patriots who currently hold a plethora of draft picks.
1. The final piece to the puzzle
Yes, the Patriots did just win the Super Bowl, but they are not perfect. In fact, many would say the Los Angeles Rams have a better roster than the Patriots, as well as other playoff teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs and New Orleans Saints.
One of the glaring holes on the Patriots roster is at wide receiver. When Julian Edelman was suspended early in the season, the Patriots wide receiving core was horrid on paper.
Although, their passing game turned out fine of course, thanks to James White logging 87 catches and 750 receiving yards.
The Patriots need an Antonio Brown in this offense in order for it to be complete. Every defense knows that if Brady is passing, odds are he is looking for Edelman or Rob Gronkowski, but the amount of games they have actually played together because of their experience with injuries is a lot lower than people think.
Gronkowski tweaked his back in November of 2016 against the Jets, and him and Edelman would not play together again until after Edelman served his four-game suspension in 2018.
If you put Brown in this offense with a healthy Edelman and Gronkowski as well as James White and their other complimentary running backs Sony Michel and Rex Burkhead, this offense could blow offensive records out of the water.