The Tennessee Titans’ pursuit of wide receiver Antonio Brown, who was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders for a third and fifth round pick, has been a polarizing topic among fans over the past week.
One group of fans wanted the Titans to trade for the controversial star wide receiver to give Marcus Mariota another offensive weapon, while the other group preferred Tennessee to stay away from Brown, who many felt could be a “locker room distraction”.
In the end, the Titans decided dealing for Brown wasn’t worth it. And I don’t think it had anything to do with the locker room or the compensation that Pittsburgh was seeking for him.
As is typically the case, I think the Titans’ decision to pass on the chance to acquire a game changing wide receiver had to do with one thing — money.
Thanks to the deal with the Raiders, Brown will earn nearly $20 million in raises and more than $30 million in guaranteed money.
The Antonio Brown saga is finally nearing a close. Sources say the #Steelers are dealing AB to the #Raiders in exchange for a third round pick and a fifth round pick in this 2019 draft. Brown will also get a reworked contract that makes him the NFL’s highest paid WR.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 10, 2019
As good as I think Brown is, I don’t think it would’ve been a wise financial move for the Titans to take on that sort of contract. Especially considering he will turn 31 in July.
There’s no doubt that wide receivers are an important part of the game. And the Titans certainly need to upgrade in that area. But they also have more pressing needs that I think will impact their ability to make a deep playoff run more than acquiring Brown would’ve.
Adding a top notch pass rusher (Justin Houston or Trey Flowers perhaps), along with a true No. 2 wide receiver (Golden Tate seems like perfect fit), would make the Titans a much better team than simply adding Brown and calling it (mostly) a day.
The acquisition of Brown would’ve severely hampered Tennessee’s financial flexibility in the coming years. They’re in a good spot with the salary cap, but I think it’s a poor idea to wrap up that much cash in an aging wide receiver.
Let’s not forget, wide receiver and pass rusher aren’t the Titans’ only big positions of need this off-season. The team also needs to upgrade their interior offensive line. Upgrading the backup quarterback position is also a move that should be considered.
Passing on Brown means the Titans are free to make major upgrades in those areas.
While it would’ve been fun to see “Mr Big Chest” catching passes in Nashville, the Titans’ path to constructing a championship caliber roster is much clearer without Brown in the picture.
Featured image via Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports