Did the Seahawks Trick Russell Wilson With Antonio Brown?

Antonio Brown Russell Wilson

Getty The Seahawks may have been coy about their interest in Antonio Brown.

The Seattle Seahawks may have given Russell Wilson more tricks than treats when the team went public with their interest in Antonio Brown which feels appropriate given it is Halloween season. Seattle had been linked to Brown dating back to his multiple releases last season, but the rumors heated up when ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the team was poised to “make a push” at signing the receiver after he served the remainder of his suspension.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll confirmed the team was looking into signing Brown, and Wilson also voiced his support for the move. Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported the Seahawks did “due diligence” on Brown and decided they “weren’t comfortable” signing the wide receiver.

“Per a league source, the Seahawks performed their due diligence on Brown, doing all the homework and checking all the boxes necessary to evaluate whether Brown should be added to the roster,” Florio noted. “The Seahawks decided based on their efforts that they weren’t comfortable adding Brown to the team.”

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The Seahawks May Have Deliberately Went Public With Their Interest in A.B.

It is unclear when the Seahawks came to this decision, but it appears there was more to Brown signing with the Buccaneers than just Seattle missing out in a bidding war. Florio suggested the Seahawks went public with their interest as a way to appease Wilson and potentially entice other teams to sign Brown.

“As previously speculated, the Seahawks quite possibly acknowledged interest in Brown publicly both to placate Wilson and to ensure that someone else would swoop in and get him,” Florio added. “That’s what the Buccaneers did, helping the Seahawks avoid a potentially awkward moment with their franchise quarterback.”

Prior to Brown signing with the Buccaneers, Carroll described the Seahawks as “tuned into” Brown’s situation.

“We have endeavored to be in on everything that is going on, and John [Schneider] has done a marvelous job of always being tuned into what’s happening and this is no exception, so we’ll see what happens,” Carroll noted in his Week 7 press conference. “We’re tuned in to what’s happening there [with Antonio Brown]. …We’re nowhere there [signing] right now, so let’s wait and see what happens, and all that. We do all of the homework we can think of doing. We will never think that we can leave a stone unturned, and so that’s how we approach everything. So, we’ll continue to do that here.”

Wilson on Brown: ‘Hopefully, He Gets to Play Football Again’

Only Carroll and Seahawks general manager John Schneider know the exact timeline of reaching their decision on Brown. It is possible the team opted against pursuing Brown after their public comments confirming their interest.

Given the explosiveness of the Seahawks offense, it makes sense that Seattle did not want to take on the risk of adding Brown but also wanted to avoid letting Wilson down. If the Seahawks’ plan was to lure another team to sign Brown, it worked to perfection as the Buccaneers had previously been vocal about not wanting to sign the receiver. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported the Bucs “acted fast” knowing teams like the Seahawks and others were interested in Brown.

“Bucs did extensive homework on Antonio Brown, had lots of time to think about a potential deal while Brown served his suspension,” Fowler noted on Twitter. “Knowing Seattle or other teams could be a factor, Tampa acted fast in the last few days.”

This marks the second straight season that Wilson pushed the Seahawks to sign Brown. Over the offseason, Brown worked out at Wilson’s San Diego home, and the Seahawks quarterback explained why he backed the receiver prior to his decision to sign with the Bucs.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with him or not,” Wilson explained at his Week 7 press conference. “I don’t know how serious it is, us getting him or not, but I do know obviously he can play some football. I think that’s the thing, I’ve developed a relationship personally with him. Not everybody is perfect, that’s just the reality, none of us are. Hopefully, he gets to play football again.”

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