As Brown was officially cut by the Raiders, with over $29 million of his contract being voided due to conduct detrimental to the team, Jones signed the largest guarantee in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons — with 97 percent of the money that’s due on his contract being earned at signing, the largest in NFL history.
While Jones became $66 million richer on Saturday afternoon, Brown became $29 million poorer. As Spotrac points out, the Raiders don’t owe Brown any money — and his two workout bonuses totaling $1 million became void because he didn’t attend at least 85 percent of the offseason program.
While it’s clear both of the NFL’s best wide receivers had drastically different starts to their weekend, the question becomes, where is Brown’s next NFL destination?
Follow the Heavy on NFL Facebook page for all the latest stories, rumors and viral content!
Julio Jones vs. Antonio Brown: How They Compare
Both of the game’s best receivers have been the very best at their position during this decade. Brown entered the NFL while Jones was drafted just a year later in 2011. Prior to this season, both teams had spent their entire careers with one team and just one quarterback — Brown with Ben Roethlisberger and Jones with Matt Ryan.
Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro — with four selections on the First Team. He has also led the NFL in receiving yards and receptions on two different occasions while also leading the NFL in touchdowns (15) in 2018.
On the other hand, Jones is a six-time Pro Bowler and a four-time All-Pro — with two selections on the First Team. He has led the NFL in receiving yards on two different occasions and has led the league in receptions.
While Brown’s resume looks more stacked than Jones, let’s take a look at their overall statistics. Who is better on the stat sheet? Keep in mind, Brown has played one more season than Jones.
Julio Jones (2011-2018): 698 receptions for 10,731 yards and 81 touchdowns (15.4 yards per reception) in 111 games.
Antonio Brown (2010-2018): 837 receptions, 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns (13.4 yards per reception) in 130 games.
Now let’s take a look at their single-season receiving averages for the three major categories since Brown became a starter in 2011 — he was a backup receiver during his rookie season in 2010.
Jones: 87 receptions, 1,341 yards and six touchdowns per season
Brown: 103 receptions, 1,380 yards and nine touchdowns per season
When you look at these numbers, it becomes abundantly clear that Brown has been the better overall receiver — despite all of the baggage that he carries.
Antonio Brown’s Agent Looking Ahead to Next NFL Destination
As is always the case with Drew Rosenhaus, the longtime sports agent quickly attempted to defuse the Brown situation during an interview on NFL Network. He said that although its unfortunate that things didn’t work out between Brown and the Raiders, his client is already looking ahead to his next destination.
Furthermore, he made sure to clarify that his client is in the right mindset to play.
So now that it’s official that Brown is moving on from the Raiders, the real speculation begins — who is the next team to take a chance on a star receiver who has quickly become a diva?
The Patriots have always taken chances on star players who have been divas. Heck, their most famous acquisition was none other than Randy Moss, who went onto shatter the single-season touchdown record in his first season with the club with 23 touchdowns back in 2007. Let us not forget that Bill Belichick also took a chance on defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth.
Also, it’s worth mentioning that this is legit interest. Belichick would reportedly be interested in signing the seven-time Pro Bowler.
As far as the Cowboys are concerned, they’re currently in contract discussions with Amari Cooper and lack in receiving options after their No. 1 receiver. Heck, they brought back a 37-year-old Jason Witten because they were desperate for a dependable tight end. Considering they could likely get Brown on a short deal that’s not worth much, why would Jerry Jones pass on this opportunity?
The Seahawks are depleted at wide receiver, with starting receiver David Moore being out for at least the first two weeks of the season due to a fracture in his upper arm. Even with Moore in the lineup, their receiving corps are underwhelming with Tyler Lockett entrenched as the top receiver.
As great of a deep option as Lockett is, he has yet to post a 1,000-yard season in his career and the Seahawks lack a guy who can just simply move the chains. Brown would open up the offense — and give Lockett more looks down the field.
The Saints are pretty stacked in their receiving core with Michael Thomas leading the way and a quarterback that can make just about anybody look good. But with this potentially be Drew Brees‘ last season, maybe New Orleans takes a chance on a receiver who is still one of the game’s elite?
After all, the Saints have been looking for that one player to push them over the top and into the Super Bowl after narrowly missing the big game over the past two years.
The bottom line is this — although Brown has soured on two teams in the matter of months, he is still the league’s most productive receiver.
Because he’s still the league’s top wideout, there won’t be any shortage of teams interested in the veteran wide receiver.
The question becomes, how much are teams willing to offer the veteran wide receiver given his recent behavior?