It’s no secret that disgruntled wideout Antonio Brown wants out of Pittsburgh. He made his official trade request over the weekend, so naturally, Eagles twitter has been buzzing about the possibility of bringing in the star receiver ever since.
It’s impossible to deny the ridiculous amount of production that AB has put forth in his NFL career. If you’re not fully aware of AB’s dominance, just look at his stats since 2013:
The numbers speak for themselves. Brown is clearly a future Hall of Famer and will continue putting up eye popping numbers for at least a few more years. With that being said, I think it’s safe to say we’ve seen the best of Antonio Brown. He may still have a few strong years left in the tank, but is he worth trading for at this point? From the Eagles perspective, no, he’s not.
Just look at how the offense is currently built from both a personnel and cap standpoint. Alshon Jeffery is a definitive number one receiver and Nelson Agholor has proved to be one of the more versatile slot receivers in the game. Jeffery is set to have a cap hit of $14.7 million in 2019 and Agholor is set to have a $9.3 million cap hit. They’re two of the ten highest cap hits going into next season for the Eagles. So if they decided to bring in AB, who’s set to have a cap hit of $22 million, three of the ten highest cap hits for 2019 would all be wide receivers.
I’m no cap expert, but that doesn’t seem like a very smart allocation of money to me.
I’ve seen some Eagles pundits suggest throwing Agholor into the trade discussion, and on the surface that does sound like it could possibly work. But even dumping Agholor’s $9 million cap hit wouldn’t clear enough space to bring in AB and his $22 million hit.
The Eagles have several needs that need to be addressed this offseason, and wide receiver isn’t one of them. Sure, the thought of Carson Wentz throwing bombs to AB and Alshon is hard not to get excited about, but realistically it’s a long shot.
Aside from the money issue, I haven’t even mentioned the fact that he’s a head case. The Eagles have taken in big personalities in the past, Michael Bennett being the most recent. And they’ve been able to handle these personalities well for the most part.
But AB is different. AB doesn’t just have a few instances where he’s been outspoken. There’s a laundry list of controversial situations surrounding him. From the domestic violence case, his inexplicit Facebook live video of Mike Tomlin during a post-game speech, to his temper tantrums on the sideline, I could go on and on. But the one thing that was completely inexcusable was his absence during the Steelers pivotal week 17 game this past season. He wasn’t hurt, he just didn’t want to play. I don’t care what kind of feud he had with Big Ben or Mike Tomlin, you never leave your team out to dry like that. That’s team sports 101, and football is the epitome of team sports. I just can’t overlook something like that, and we as Eagles fans shouldn’t brush it off.
Antonio Brown is a world class talent and arguably the best receiver in football. But the Eagles proved a season ago that you don’t need world class talent to win a Super Bowl. A winning culture, a great coaching staff, and a locker room full of men dedicated to one thing will always trump a team full of individual talent.