Antonio Brown going to the Raiders for only 3rd and 5th round picks shows was his true value on the market was. He was never going to come close to fetching a 1st round pick the way Amari Cooper did. Yes, Brown is a better receiver, but all the other “stuff” matters. That includes Cooper about to turn 25, entering his prime, while Brown turns 31 this summer, and his prime may be over.
It feels like Brown’s tenure in Oakland could already be written. We can look to the scorpion and the frog as a guide.
Brown will probably come out in the 2019 season opener and score a touchdown or two, easily surpass 100 yards, and maybe the Raiders win a close game and there’s excitement about Oakland. By the end of September, the honeymoon phase will still be in effect, Brown will be among the league leaders in receptions and yards, and maybe the Raiders are off to a hot start.
Inevitably, it’ll fade, because they have one of the worst rosters in the NFL, and by Thanksgiving the Raiders will be at or near the basement of the AFC West. Maybe you’ll hear some not-positive news emerge from the Oakland locker room. If I had to guess nine months in advance, Brown will be involved.
Brown will probably have his first media outburst – or sideline antics – in December, and when the Raiders finish 5-11 or 6-10, and Brown’s numbers statistics are good-but-not-great, and he’s outside the Top 10 of receptions, yards and TDs, that is when buyer’s remorse will settle in.
Assuming Derek Carr was the QB for all of this (and they didn’t get Kyler Murray), then the real problems begin – who is the QB of the future? What do they do with their declining asset in Brown, who turns 32 in the summer of 2020? Do they have to trade up in the draft to get Tua, Justin Herbert, or someone else who emerges?
I wish Vegas would offer odds on whether or not Antonio Brown plays in a playoff game with the Raiders. Given that the Chiefs and Chargers are already significantly better teams, I’d bet Brown won’t see the playoffs in the black and silver.