Antonio Brown has been aiming at a return with the Las Vegas Raiders and recently said that he’s been in communication with Jon Gruden. However, general manager Mike Mayock buried any chance of Brown returning to the team at the Combine. While Gruden gets what Gruden wants, it doesn’t sound like the coach has an interest in bringing back the wide receiver as he took a subtle dig at Brown during an interview at the Combine.
“We felt we added one of the best receivers in the league a year ago and he had frozen feet, and then we thought we had the best free agent receiver and he had fried feet from plantar fasciitis,” Gruden said on Thursday. “So, the feet were a problem for us last year so we would like to add a great receiver, certainly, but we still threw for a lot of yards.”
Gruden is obviously referencing the 2019 offseason incident where Brown got frostbite on his feet from using a cryotherapy chamber. It was just the beginning of a number of escalating issues that doomed the wide receiver’s time with the Raiders. It sounds like Brown is more willing to overlook his issues with the team than they are with him.
Tyrell Williams Getting Healthy
Brown was supposed to be the biggest addition the Raiders made last offseason, but the team was also really excited about Tyrell Williams. They gave him big money and he was poised to be one of the best number two options at wide receiver in the NFL. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis early in the season and he never fully recovered. Luckily, he’s recovering nicely and should be good to go soon.
“I talked to him recently and he feels like he is almost 100 percent, back to his old self,” Gruden said. “If you remember training camp, he was an impressive performer. He had over 100 yards in his first game and then in the second game of the year, he really had a problem with his feet. … He was never the same again.
“If we can get him back, a healthy Gabe Jackson and a healthy John Abram, those are three guys that can really, really help us.”
The Raiders are almost certainly going add top wide receiver talent this offseason and that should mean good things for Williams as he’s clearly better suited to be the second option for a team.
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WR Rich Draft
If the Raiders don’t feel like spending big money on a wide receiver like A.J. Green or Robby Anderson in free agency, there are plenty of other options in the draft. In fact, a lot of the top wide receivers in the 2020 class will probably have better seasons than Anderson or Green and they’ll be a lot cheaper.
Even if the Raiders chose not to target a wide receiver in the first round, there are bound to be some very promising players later in the draft. Trading for Brown kept the Raiders from drafting a wide receiver early last year. They’re not going to make that mistake again.