The Seattle Seahawks continue to be linked to Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon as the team looks to take a chance on another wide receiver. The Athletic’s Mike Lombardi reported on The GM Shuffle podcast that the Seahawks now prefer Brown over Gordon.
“I hear Seattle is really, really, really interested [in Antonio Brown],” Lombardi explained. “I think Seattle has dropped the Josh Gordon [idea]. Maybe they come back to him if they feel like Brown isn’t [an option]. But I think it’s Brown, Gordon and I think Baltimore is right in it [as well].”
Brown landing another NFL opportunity appears to be driven greatly by some of the top quarterbacks in the league. The Seahawks are not the only team who has been linked to Brown. Despite the Buccaneers’ continued reluctance, Lombardi believes Tom Brady will not give up on Tampa Bay pursuing Brown. The Ravens are also another team consistently mentioned as a potential landing spot for Brown.
“Well, look, I still think Brady’s pushing hard for it,” Lombardi noted. “I don’t care what anybody reports, and I know the Bucs aren’t interested, but Brady’s going to keep going and keep going and keep going. I know Lamar [Jackson] is pushing the Ravens hard for it.”
NFL Teams Want to See the Extent of Brown’s Potential Suspension
Lombardi reported that one of the main sticking points in Brown remaining unsigned is his potential suspension. The Seahawks likely want to see what kind of suspension Brown is facing before they commit to signing the receiver.
“I think now that he’s gotten cleared up out of this one hassle that he had with the Patriots, the cap settlement. …I think now the next step is for him to get cleared in terms of his off-the-field issues,” Lombardi said. “Then the commissioner can make a decision on where he is going suspension wise.”
During an interview on the Pat McAfee Show, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also indicated that Brown’s looming suspension has been a sticking point for teams.
“He’s got several teams interested I know that, we’ve talked about some Seahawks, Texans there’s a couple of them,” Rapoport explained. “…I think everyone wants to know how long his suspension is going to be.”
The Seahawks Had Previously Been Linked to Gordon Over Brown
Brown has garnered much of the headlines, but Gordon officially applied for NFL reinstatement in June, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. Since December, Gordon has been suspended indefinitely by the NFL. ESPN 710 Seattle’s John Clayton reported earlier this offseason that the Seahawks preferred to bring back Gordon over taking a chance on Brown.
“Earlier this morning, @JohnClaytonNFL told @dannyoneil and @GallantSays that there’s just a 5% chance #Seahawks sign @AB84. However, he [John Clayton] says there’s an 85% chance they re-sign @JOSH_GORDONXII,” ESPN 710 Seattle’s Jessamyn McIntyre tweeted.
If there is truth to Lombardi’s latest report, the Seahawks appear to have changed course and may be leaning towards Brown pending the NFL’s decision on his suspension. While Brown may command more than Gordon on the open market, neither player is likely to find a significantly lucrative deal given the baggage that accompanies each player.
Gordon does not appear to come with the same volatility in the locker room as Brown, but his substance abuse issues have consistently kept him off the field. The NFL’s new collective bargaining agreement does have a more relaxed drug policy which could act in Gordon’s favor.
Given the current social climate, Seattle adding Brown would likely be met with much more pushback. Without saying a word publicly, Russell Wilson has made it known this offseason that he is in favor of the Seahawks signing Brown as evidenced by the quarterback hosting the former Pro Bowler at his San Diego home for a workout.