It appears that we haven't seen the last of Antonio Brown, and where he might emerge will have a major impact on the remainder of the 2020 Season.
The enigmatic Brown was originally drafted in 2010 by the Steelers in the 6th round. From there, the Central Michigan product surpassed all expectations by becoming a 7-time Pro Bowler and one of the game's top pass catchers.
However, he was not without his share of controversy during his time with the franchise. The mercurial receiver was issued multiple fines for his on-field conduct, and often feuded with coaches and teammates.
Eventually, he would run afoul of both the League and the law, after talking his way out of Pittsburgh following the 2018 season.
The Steelers engineered a trade to Oakland, where Brown would later be released shortly at the start of 2019, following controversial comments and behavior. This was followed by a failed stint in New England who gave him his walking papers when more stories of Brown's off-field misadventures began to surface.
Brown became the subject of an NFL investigation after he was accused of sexual misconduct. He also pleaded no contest to felony burglary and battery charges. The League suspended him for 8 games to open 2020, citing multiple violations of their personal-conduct policy.
For a while, teams weren't even sure if he had any desire to return. On more than one occasion during the off-season, Brown suggested that he was retiring, only to change his mind later.
Now, with his suspension due to end in just a couple of weeks, Brown appears ready to take the field again. Multiple reports have surfaced that he's on the radar of several NFL teams looking to fortify their receiving corps.
Most notably, the Seahawks are rumored to be the front-runners for Antonio Brown's services: https://twitter.com/SportsCenter/status/1319005664304390148
Currently, Seattle is ranked in the top ten on offense in the NFL, averaging 395.8 yards and 33.8 points per game.
Wilson is among the early favorites for the MVP award, having already tossed 16 TDs with only 2 Interceptions. His two main receiving weapons - Lockett and Metcalf - are on pace for 1,000 yard seasons, and have combined seven scores.
So, the idea of adding Brown is certainly intriguing.
On one hand, an inspired and engaged Antonio Brown could turn an already explosive offense in to one of the most formidable. It also gives Wilson another aerial option.
On the flip side of the equation, Brown has shown that he can not only be a distraction with his off-the-field issues, but also toxic in the locker room.
He has had feuds with teammates (Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh), executives (Mike Mayock in Oakland), and even owners (Robert Kraft in New England).
With Seattle already cruising to a 5-0 start, the question has to be: Is it worth all the potential headaches to take a chance on Brown's enormous talent? And even if he is a model citizen, can he return to form after such a long layoff?
For the Seahawks, the answer to both those questions is apparently, yes.
And for good reason. Seattle is a veteran team with a capable coach like Pete Carroll. They're accustomed to winning and have an enduring fan base. They also have a respected captain in Russell Wilson.
If there's anywhere in the NFL that a player with a stormy past can find solace, it's Emerald City.
It could certainly be the perfect fit for Brown, who looks to prove he can still play. He would be in a very structured franchise that appears poised to make a deep run in the playoffs. With Metcalf and Lockett already entrenched, he wouldn't have the pressure of being 'the guy' right away.
For Antonio Brown? Signing with Seattle could end up being his saving grace and... eventually send him to the Super Bowl.Published 23 Oct 2020, 03:05 IST