Is Antonio Brown’s talent worth the risk for the Seahawks?
NFL free agency has stalled quite a bit over the last month as we get closer to the start of training camp, but rumors are still flying regarding some of the top available players. In the case of the Seahawks, one rumor that has gained some steam recently has been involving four-time First-Team All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown.
NFL.com’s Mike Silver said that the Seahawks and Ravens were two teams doing their research on Brown. In the case of the Seahawks, it’s been reported that quarterback Russell Wilson wants Brown on board. Additionally, backup quarterback Geno Smith has been working out with Brown this offseason, and Brown posted a video this week of him catching a pass from Wilson at Wilson’s home.
While Brown is incredibly talented and has the ability to create mismatches for opposing defenses, he also brings some baggage. He’s been known to complain about the number of targets he receives and he has a number of off-field issues he’s had over the last year, including sexual assault claims, assaulting a truck driver and multiple videos of him cursing at the mother of his children.
That’s in addition to what he did with the Raiders last offseason before he was cut without playing in a regular season game, such as getting frostbite on his feet in a cryogenic chamber, threatening to retire over a helmet and nearly getting physical with general manager Mike Mayock.
So why would the Seahawks take a chance on him? And should they? Former NFL receiver Michael Bumpus discussed that with Jim Moore when the two hosted 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant on Wednesday.
“There’s no denying that Antonio Brown would add a weapon to this offense. The guy caught 115 footballs four years in a row, 1,200 yards, the production is crazy,” he said. “Would he make this team better on the field? Most definitely.”
But as mentioned, Brown has shown he can be problematic if he doesn’t get the football thrown to him. Bumpus said that’s a serious concern.
“Now my question is would he make this team better when it’s third-and-5 and he doesn’t get (the ball) and they throw it to DK. Is he going to throw a fit? Is he pouting on the sidelines?” Bumpus said. “Is he going to make this team better when it’s third-and-8 and they decide to run a draw instead of throw him the ball. Those are the kind of things that concern me about Antonio Brown.”
Bumpus feels that while Brown can do all the physical things a receiver needs to thrive in this league, he can also disrupt even the strongest of locker rooms, especially with his would-be offensive teammates.
“He would help this offense for sure, but I also feel he would hurt this offense as well just as far as morale,” Bumpus said. “We’ve got some good guys on this Seahawks team, guys who understand their role, guys who are OK in their role and will go out and execute. I bet you, Jim, Tyler Lockett could go a game with three targets and if they win that ballgame, you will hear nothing about those three targets. Antonio Brown could get three targets and they win that ballgame and he’s pouting. Now imagine if they lose this ballgame. He’s pouting. So he’s got some work to do emotionally and mentally.
“On the football field, he would help this offense, but I don’t think it’s worth the risk.”
What would other offensive players think?
Reports about Brown joining the Seahawks center around the team’s quarterbacks wanting him on board. But would Metcalf and Lockett, who were one of the best receiver duos in the league in 2019, be OK with Brown joining the team? Bumpus isn’t so sure.
“I think they’re honest. I think they know AB would help this team, but all these guys have egos,” he said. “Every person in the NFL has some type of ego and it’s kind of like a slap in the face ‘what, we’re not good enough?’ Metcalf is like ‘I had 900 yards my first season. I’m not good enough?’ Lockett’s like ‘I went over 1,000 yards. I’m not good enough? We brought in Greg Olsen, he’s not good enough? Do we really need this guy on the football field?’ So they go through some emotions.”
But if the Seahawks indeed bring Brown in, Bumpus thinks Metcalf and Lockett will be the best teammates they can be.
“If this situation became real and Pete Carroll went to the team or went to Russell Wilson and spoke to them and said ‘look, we’re bringing AB in,’ I think they’re professional enough to hit the switch like ‘OK, how can we help this guy help our team,'” he said. ” … They’re professionals and if AB were to come in, they’d suck it up and do what’s best for the team.”
Listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.