The biggest story of the NFL off-season (when it comes to actual players, sorry Robert Kraft) should be resolved this week and the Tennessee Titans could be involved.
According to multiple reports over the last several days, the Titans are one of several teams interested in trading for troubled star wide receiver Antonio Brown.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are hoping a deal to trade Brown will be in place by Friday.
Though at this point, it looks like the Titans are simply “monitoring” the situation, rather than actively trying to add Brown to their roster.
Ian Rapoport tells @3HL1045 regarding Antonio Brown trade:
“Probably in the next 24 to 48 hours. Three new teams in, Cardinals and Jets out, more teams just monitoring, the Tennessee Titans being one of them monitoring.”
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) March 6, 2019
Of course, we know things chance quickly in trade talks. Discussions can be cold one minute and heat up the next. With Jon Robinson at the helm for the Titans, nothing would surprise me.
Risk vs Reward
Every team in the NFL that’s interested in Brown is currently trying to figure out if the diva wide receiver is worth the risk. When he’s on the football field, and not making headlines for off-the-field comments/actions, he’s arguably the best wide receiver in football.
But how long can teams count on him to be the best wide receiver in football?
And more importantly, how long can teams count on Brown to even play in the NFL?
The former Central Michigan standout will turn 31 this summer. That means he’s about to enter the downside of his career.
Plenty of wide receivers have had productive careers into their mid-thirties. And Brown certainly has the talent to be a star receiver for several more years.
But I think Brown checks the boxes of a player that will likely retire early from the NFL, à la Calvin Johnson and Barry Sanders (both players retired when they were 30).
Brown made troubling comments earlier this week about “not needing” football.
Antonio Brown: “I don’t even have to play football if I don’t want. I don’t even need the game. … Obviously I want the game but I don’t need the game.”
AB out here doing everything to kill his trade value for the Steelers pic.twitter.com/bdsCKd3yIp
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) March 2, 2019
That sounds like a guy on the verge of walking away from the game.
Imagine being a team who trades a first round pick (at least) for Brown, and then he retires after one season? Or midway through the 2019 season.
Mortgaging the future to acquire a wide receiver who is truly unpredictable doesn’t seem like a wise move at the end of the day.
Robinson seems like the type of general manager who likes to mitigate risks. I just can’t see him making a move that comes with this big of a risk.
Featured image via Charles LeClaire/USA Today