Late Saturday night it was reported that Antonio Brown was headed to a new team: the Oakland Raiders, our soon-to-be neighbors in Las Vegas. The Pittsburgh Steelers walked away with a third and fifth round pick in return, along with plenty of criticism from fans of other teams for handling negotiations so terribly. Brown, who inked a 3-year deal for $30 million guaranteed, certainly came out ahead of the Steeler’s, who will be eating $21 million against the cap to part ways with the wide receiver. Ouch.
Aside from this being great news for Brown, it might be better for Jon Gruden and the folks over at the Raiders. Gruden landed himself one of the best wide receivers in the game, and the Raiders earned themselves some extra star power ahead of a big relocation – guaranteeing themselves to pick up fans along the way. But really, this news is most important for every wide receiver set to become a free agent this year. Brown’s deal just set a new benchmark for their agents to use in their respective negotiations. Truly, this is just the starting point for major wide receiver contracts – similar to the quarterback contracts we saw over the last few years where each guy managed to one-up the one before him by a few million dollars.
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) March 10, 2019
We know our fans aren’t the kind of people to tell athletes to ‘shut up and play’ – you guys like the drama and the story behind every player. But when it comes to negotiating with another team for a trade, we know you’ll do better than the Steelers. Sure, we won’t have $30M transactions, but we feel confident that you wouldn’t bungle negotiations as bad as the Steelers did. You’re better than that.