The Antonio Brown sweepstakes had everyone on edge. There were plenty teams mentioned for his services including the Buffalo Bills, who at one point thought they had the talented wide receiver coming their way. However, after Brown reportedly said that he would not commit to the Bills, the deal was not consummated. When it seemed like all the places he could end up were drying up, the Oakland Raiders threw their hat in the ring and struck a deal. The Raiders were able to get the services of Brown, giving up a 2019 third and fifth-round draft pick. Along with the trade, Brown also received a new three-year, $ 50.1 million deal that gave him $30.125 in guaranteed money – he was scheduled to receive no guaranteed money on his previous deal. Now that Bryant got what he wanted, what can be expected from him in Oakland?
Well, one thing you can expect is him to show off that speed he has. Brown is a deep threat each time he steps on the football field. His electric speed opened up a lot of things for the Pittsburgh offense and allowed for other players to get open easier. With him in Oakland, that deep threat and the ability he has will make things easier for players around him. The addition of Brown gives the Raiders the perfect complement to veteran wide receiver Jordy Nelson. As he has aged, Nelson isn’t quite as fast as he once was. With someone taking the attention away from him, now Nelson can enjoy more single coverage and even at his age (33), he can still beat single coverage for the variety of routes he can run.
Along with Brown adding the ability to take the top of defenses and help others get open, Brown also brings a winning attitude to the Raiders. While some are still downing him for how he left Pittsburgh and his perceived attitude there, one thing you cannot deny is he was part of a winning culture in Pittsburgh. Looking at the Raiders team with their current additions in offensive tackle, Trent Brown, from the New England Patriots and LaMarcus Joyner from the Los Angeles Rams, the team is focused on bringing in some players that come from winning cultures. There are only a select few teams that have that winning culture established and Pittsburgh is one of them. Brown has been a part of a winning culture for a little longer than both Brown and Joyner. While again, some will question his exit in Pittsburgh, no one can question his work ethic and his desire to do what it takes to win games. That will be something that’s needed in Oakland as they rebuild their organization before they move to Las Vegas.
The Brown trade watch is over and he is West Coast bound. The Steelers got rid of someone that did not want to be there and Brown is happy. This is the first time in his career he’ll be without Big Ben at the helm throwing him the football. It will be interesting to see how he and Derek Carr bond and how both get along on the football field.
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