named three teams that should go after Antonio Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowler who amassed the most receptions of any wide receiver from 2010 to 2018 and possesses elite separation skills rivaling Diggs.Derek Mountain recently
“Going into the 2020 season, the Vikings appear a little depleted at the wide receiver position. It was a position of strength in the past led by Adam Thielen, and Stefon Diggs, forming one of the best starting receiver corps in the league.
Diggs was traded this offseason for a myriad of picks including 2020 1st rounder, Justin Jefferson. Going into the 2020 season, the Vikings will rely heavily on guys like Jefferson, recent signee Tajae Sharpe, and Bisi Johnson to step up and help fill that void without Diggs.
With the addition of Antonio Brown, the Vikings would have two of the best route technicians in the game in Brown and Thielen. Each is a master in creating separation. In addition, they could move Jefferson into the slot, his natural position at LSU where he caught 109 passes for 1,518 yards from this position. With the addition of Brown, they would not have to rely so much of a rookie like Jefferson or other unproven guys, but they could groom these developmental players.
With a holdout of Dalvin Cook seeming imminent, it would behoove the Vikings to add a guy like Antonio Brown to aid their passing attack.”
The only dilemma would be Brown’s off-field issues.
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Clouded in Controversy
After nine seasons with Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown was arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL and had a relatively sterling public image before getting into an argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the final week of the 2018 regular season and was benched. Stories began to leak of Brown began speaking to the media about his dissatisfaction with the team and was eventually traded to the Oakland Raiders.
That offseason, Brown threatened to retire after the NFL changed its league safety protocol and required Brown to wear a different helmet than the one he’d worn his whole career. He reached an endorsement with helmet manufacturer Xenith days before the Raiders’ Week 1 matchup.
Brown missed several team meetings that week and posted a screenshot of a fine he received, voiding $30 million of guaranteed money in his contract as he faced suspension. After an argument with Raiders’ General Manager Mike Mayock, he was fined again and eventually released and picked up by the New England Patriots.
He’d play one game before he was sued by a former trainer alleging Brown sexual assaulted her, ultimately leading to the Patriots releasing him. Brown has since been in numerous legal battles while trying to find a team that would sign him, most recently being dealt two years of probation for a fight with a moving truck driver.
Many believe Antonio Brown has chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), although the former NFL star has denied those questions.
Brown to the Vikings?
Despite the issues surrounding Brown, there’s no question many teams in the NFL could use his talent. The Vikings, however, likely are not willing to take the risk of signing Brown at the moment, TheVikingAge’s Adam Patrick wrote.
“This is certainly an interesting suggestion, but it seems extremely unlikely. After witnessing Brown’s ugly departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, there are very few teams who are willing to take a chance on the veteran receiver right now.
Brown is also facing a possible suspension from the NFL whenever he re-enters the league due to some off-the-field run-ins with the law. It’s just a situation Minnesota and Mike Zimmer likely aren’t trying to get involved in right now.
Sure, Brown is a former All-Pro and yes, he probably would be an upgrade over Jefferson. However, the off-the-field risk and the potential to be a major distraction just isn’t worth the Vikings making any sort of effort in signing the veteran pass-catcher.”
Follow Trevor Squire on Twitter: @trevordsquire