After the last year or so, I suppose nothing surrounding Antonio Brown would be too surprising, but this might be. I have serious doubts about whether he will ever play football again. It sounds crazy to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what ended up happening.
I understand that he’s been one of the best receivers in the NFL for a long time, and, usually, in the NFL, that’s the only thing that matters. But the only thing that might matter more is money. Based on everything we’ve seen from AB recently, I can’t imagine he’d be willing to take a 1 year, prove it deal. At this point, however, a team would have to be insane to give him any sort of long term deal.
If he’s unwilling to budge on his contract demands, and no team is willing to give him a lot of guaranteed money, then it’s certainly possible he doesn’t play this season. If he doesn’t play this season, he’d be looking to come back and play next season, at 32 years old, after missing an entire season of football. Then, he would be in the same contract situation as he is right now. That cycle would continue until a team is dumb enough to guarantee him a ton of money, or he folds on his money demands.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. Bad guys get paid all the time in the NFL. Just look at Tyreek Hill. This might be true, but what AB has done this offseason has been(gulp) worse than what Hill has done. Clearly, beating his pregnant girlfriend and son(allegedly) is horrible, and makes him a terrible person. But, he still shows up for the Chiefs and gives everything that he has every day. Brown was a no show in his last regular season game with the Steelers, and has been insane with the Raiders all summer. Then, even after they supported his craziness, and only fined him $50K, even after he missed weeks worth of practices, he lost his mind, released an illegally recorded phone conversation with his head coach, and demanded his release.
NFL coaches overlook tons of horrible off field issues to win. From issues like drug use, to domestic violence, but they demand that their players show up and be and keep their conversations private. Brown has now released private conversations of both of his coaches, and has quit on two different teams.
Maybe Drew Rosenhaus convinces him to take a short term deal and ball out for a bigger contract. Maybe some team some loses their mind and pays for him(I’m looking at you, Jets and Texans). In the event that doesn’t happen, though, don’t be surprised if AB doesn’t play again until 2020, if he plays again at all.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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