Antonio Brown to Eagles: Debating a potential signing

Eliot Shorr-Parks
November 06, 2019 - 8:21 am

The Eagles need help at wide receiver. Arguably the best receiver in the NFL is on the open market. 

Will they make a move for Antonio Brown?

Brown, who led the NFL in touchdowns last season, remains a free agent after being released by the New England Patriots after Week 2, and after being released from the Oakland Raiders a few weeks before that. To say it has been a tumultuous few months for Brown would be an understatement, but despite all of it, some fans want his rollercoaster of an offseason to end up in Philadelphia. It might be a long shot, but it isn't impossible, as the Eagles had serious interest in Brown prior to his trade to Oakland this offseason. 

Here are some positives and negatives of a potential signing:

Positive: He is really, really good

Brown wouldn’t even be in the discussion if he wasn’t an elite talent that has shown he can still produce. As mentioned above, Brown led the NFL in touchdown receptions last season with 15, while also pulling in 104 catches for 1,297 yards. He has topped 1,200 yards in each of the last six seasons, with at least 100 catches in each of those seasons as well. Brown has very dependable hands, he can go deep, he can run every route there is and he is dangerous after the catch. He would step onto the Eagles and instantly be their best playmaker, while also being one of the most talented receivers in the NFL. 

Risk: Distraction

Sometimes a player being a media distraction isn’t completely their fault, but with Brown it would be. The receiver has not been shy about finding his way into the headlines for off-the-field distractions over the last year, whether it is refusing to wear a certain kind of helmet, broadcasting his teammates in the locker room or blasting people on Twitter. He has also made sure to have his own cameras there each step of the way, which has only added to the drama that has followed him. If Brown signs with the Eagles it will be the biggest story in the NFL — especially since his first game would be against the New England Patriots. Considering how much drama has already taken place in the Eagles locker room, the front office might have some understandable concerns about adding Brown into the mix. 

Risk: Suspended

Brown was accused of rape in a lawsuit filed back in September, a lawsuit centered around accusations from his former personal trainer. Whether Brown is found guilty remains to be seen, but the NFL is it’s own judge and jury, meaning they can decide to suspend Brown without waiting to see how the lawsuit plays out. The Eagles would likely do their homework on what would happen prior to signing Brown, but there is the chance that Brown finds himself sidelined due to a suspension after the team signs there. There is also the moral question that owner Jeffrey Lurie would have to answer about bringing Brown onto the team given the accusations against him. 

Positive: Little risk

For the reasons just mentioned, there is some risk involved in bringing Brown in — he could be suspended, he could be a distraction, he could upset some fans by even being on the team due to the accusations against him. In terms of money invested, however, the Eagles wouldn’t have to give Brown much and they wouldn’t have to trade a draft pick to get him. This isn’t giving up a second-round pick for Robby Anderson. This is being able to sign one of the best receivers in the league, at a time where the team desperately needs help at the position, for almost nothing. If Brown didn’t work out, the Eagles could cut him, just like the Raiders and Patriots did. If he does, however, he is perhaps the only receiver on the market that could come in and truly have a big impact in the passing game, which would turn this otherwise disappointing season around. 

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