The soap opera saga between the Pittsburgh Steelers and superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown finally came to an end this weekend. Brown was sent to Jon Gruden and the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a 3rd and 5th round pick in this years draft.
Brown did himself no favors regarding his value once he demanded a trade out of Pittsburgh. He’s been running his mouth the entire offseason taking shots at the organization and veteran quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in particular.
AB initially voiced his displeasure toward Big Ben when he publicly called out Brown for not executing his routes. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that tempers flared between these two guys, who have both earned a reputation of being “me, myself, and I” players for some time now.
— Michael Thomas (@Cantguardmike) March 10, 2019
Brown’s selfish attitude and threat of being a locker room deterrent caused many teams to back away from the trade talks for him. The only thing more obnoxious than AB’s behavior is his awful new blonde mustache he dyed recently.
His age certainly played a role in his stock as well. He’s still in the backend of his prime at age 30, but probably doesn’t have more than three or four years playing at the elite level he’s shown he’s capable of.
Having said that, it’s completely reasonable for Oakland to target a player as gifted as AB is. Coming off a 4-12 season in Jon Gruden’s first year at the helm, it’s no secret the Raiders have a long rebuild ahead of them.
After trading away former 4th overall pick of the 2014 draft, Amari Cooper, to the Dallas Cowboys for a first rounder last year, Oakland desperately needed to add some offensive firepower to their roster.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is a multiple time pro bowler whose shown he’s capable of being a franchise quarterback. Carr broke out in 2016 when he led the Raiders to a 12-4 season before breaking his fibula, derailing his season. He threw for 28 touchdowns while throwing just six interceptions that season, throwing for just under 4,000 yards.
Carr will be put to the test this season now that he has one of the best receivers in the game to work with. The Raiders have three first round picks this upcoming draft and two more in the 2020 draft. They certainly have the opportunity to use their remaining cap space and these picks to bolster their roster in the near future.
The $100 million man in Gruden took plenty of heat for dealing away Khalil Mack as his first move after arriving in Oakland. No one could believe he wasn’t willing to spend big money on arguably the best defensive player in football right on par with Aaron Donald at age 28.
But now with the acquisition of Brown for a few mid-round picks, on top of all the first rounders he compiled in the Mack and Cooper trades, Gruden has the opportunity to win back the trust of the black and silver faithful in the coming seasons.