Antonio Brown is at it again.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots receiver is currently out of the NFL after a string of unfortunate events, but he wants everyone to know he’s still an all-time great in his eyes. In this instance, it means he’s specifically better than Atlanta Falcons star WR Julio Jones.
Jones’ name often comes up during discussions about the game’s best receiver, and it’s with good reason. He has amassed 797 receptions, 12,125 yards, and 57 touchdowns in his nine-year NFL career. While those numbers are impressive, Brown contends, his stat line is better, and he called Jones out during a recent Instagram live rant.
This excerpt from the rant was captured by B/R Gridiron.
Antonio Brown Calls Out Julio Jones
From a purely statistical standpoint, the two players’ numbers are comparable. Brown has played in more games in his career, despite “taking a year off,” which is an interesting way to describe what happened with the mercurial receiver in 2019.
In any case, Brown has played in 131 games while Jones has appeared in 126. Jones has more receiving yards with 12,125 to Brown’s 11,263. However, Brown has more receptions (841 to 797) and TDs (75 to 57). Jones has been better in postseason games with 10 more catches, only three fewer receiving yards, and two more TDs, despite playing in two fewer playoff contests.
Best Ability is Availability
Judging value in football goes far beyond stats.
There are so many factors to consider: scheme, chemistry with teammates, opportunities, possessions, etc, all play a role, especially for a wide receiver.
Above all of that is availability. I’m sure he’s not the originator of the saying, but I once heard former Indianapolis Colts and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Tony Dungy say, the best ability is availability.
To put it plainly, Jones played in 15 games in 2019 and Brown played in just one before the Patriots released him. If you’re not even on a roster, how can you be “the best in the game?”
Antonio Brown’s NFL Future Isn’t Looking Bright
There was talk and hope that Brown might be able to follow his friend Tom Brady to the Bucs, but the team’s head coach Bruce Arians quickly shot that down.
Arians knows Brown from their days with the Pittsburgh Steelers, and he simply said, the troubled, but talented player, simply isn’t a fit for the Bucs’ locker room. This wasn’t a surprise considering Arians was once a target of Brown’s wrath on social media.
As teams have scrambled to sign talent during this odd, but active offseason, Brown’s name hasn’t been mentioned in conjunction with many teams.
If Brady indeed wanted him in Tampa Bay, and his unprecedented influence couldn’t convince a team to take a chance on the soon-to-be 32-year-old, that doesn’t bode well for Brown’s future prospects in the league.
Julio Jones is One of the Most Respected Players in the NFL
It’s hard not to detect some jealousy in Brown’s comments toward Brown. At this point, the two men couldn’t on two further ends of the spectrum as it pertains to public perception.
Jones is one of the most respected players in the league because of his physical gifts, but also his work ethic, dependability, and low-drama presence. Brown hasn’t been able to have such a graceful and welcomed existence in the league. Perhaps that’s why Jones was his latest target.