Why Seahawks’ reported interest in Antonio Brown is no surprise

Jun 25, 2020, 12:59 AM
Seahawks WR Antonio Brown...
The Seahawks have reportedly looked at signing WR Antonio Brown. (Getty)

Some have speculated that the Seahawks are interested in a receiver with off-field issues in Josh Gordon, who played in Seattle for five games in 2019 before he was suspended for failing drug tests, but it’s also been reported by NFL.com’s Mike Silver that the Seahawks have shown interest in a different receiver with recent issues in Antonio Brown.

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Silver reports that the Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens “have had legitimate internal discussions about whether to sign wide receiver Antonio Brown.”

There’s no denying Brown’s talent, as he’s had over 1,000 yards in seven seasons since entering the NFL in 2010. He has 75 career touchdown receptions and is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

But Brown has had a lot of controversies the last few seasons.

The backstory

In 2018 while with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown was benched for a Week 17 game for skipping practices after a reported argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He then demanded a trade.

Brown got his wish and was traded to the Oakland Raiders for two draft picks. Soon after, Brown posted photos of his blistered feet, which was the result of frostbite from not wearing foot coverings in a cryogenic chamber. This caused him to miss a number of practices.

He later filed a grievance with the NFL over wanting to wear his old helmet, which had been banned over health concerns. He threatened to retire if he couldn’t wear the old helmet. Brown lost the grievance, chose to wear another helmet, and returned to practice.

Raiders general manager Mike Mayock fined Brown before the season for missing practices and unexcused absences, which Brown took exception to, and he posted the letters from Mayock saying he was fined on social media. He later reportedly got in an argument with Mayock in the locker room that almost got physical and resulted in a six-figure fine. Brown would come to the facility days later and apologize to his teammates and tell the media he was ready to get to work.

But the next day, the Raiders voided guaranteed money from Brown’s contract and he demanded his release, which the Raiders granted. He then signed with the New England Patriots but only appeared in one game before he was released due to multiple sexual and personal misconduct allegations along with allegedly sending threatening text messages to one of his accusers.

Brown played in just one game in 2019, and earlier this year police were called to Brown’s house multiple times over domestic disputes. He later was accused of attacking a moving truck driver, which resulted in him receiving two years of probation, mandatory anger management and counseling and 100 hours of community service.

It’s likely that if Brown is signed by the Seahawks or another team that he will face some sort of punishment – likely a suspension – from the NFL.

Why are the Seahawks interested?

So with Brown being vetted by the Seahawks and Ravens, according to Silver, why would Seattle be interested? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Tom, Jake and Stacy, who has talked about the possibility of Brown landing in Seattle a few times this offseason, explained.

“Mike Silver reporting it only confirms the fact that these are serious, ongoing conversations with Antonio Brown and it doesn’t surprise me between the two teams in terms of the Baltimore Ravens and the Seattle Seahawks,” he said. “The reason why those two teams make sense to me is because of relationships.”

One reason Silver said the Seahawks and Ravens would be good fits are not only their strong locker rooms but that they have personal relationships in place. Heaps echoed that statement.

“Not only do these teams have to, I think, be a strong organization to be able to take on Antonio Brown, but you have to have prior relationships there with guys on the team who you think can take Antonio Brown under their wing and that they can have relationships with him,” he said. “In Baltimore, they have his cousin who is (receiver) Marquise Brown, he has a relationship with (quarterback) Lamar Jackson for being from South Florida, but he also has relationships with the Seattle Seahawks with (quarterback) Russell Wilson.”

That relationship with Wilson and another Seahawks quarterback could play big roles in Seattle’s interest.

“(Wilson and Brown have) been in contact, they’ve worked out with each other numerous times over the last few offseasons and they’ve had a relationship with constant communication along with Antonio Brown being really good friends with Geno Smith, the backup quarterback for the Seahawks,” Heaps said. “Again, strong organizations, relationships, that’s the reason the Ravens and Seahawks are part of this discussion with Antonio Brown and I don’t think they’re going to go away any time soon.”

Smith has been filmed working out with Brown, and according to Silver has given the Seahawks “positive reports” on Brown.

You can listen to the full second hour of Tuesday’s Tom, Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jake Heaps on Twitter.

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