Antonio Brown still is looking for work after a roller-coaster season that saw him go from the Raiders to the Patriots and then to the unemployment line.
Despite all of Brown's baggage, NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Donte Whitner believes the four-time All-Pro would be the perfect fit in San Francisco.
"Antonio Brown deserves a second chance," Whitner said on "49ers Central." "He hasn't been convicted of anything criminal, everything is civil. He is arguably the top wide receiver in the National Football League. I don't know why so many people want to cast guys away -- organizations, fans say, 'Oh, he doesn't deserve another shot.' How about bring these guys in and getting them the help that they need while they are in house. Make them go through therapy and certain things and stipulations in the contract to where he can get on the field and perform and help him not only on the football field but as a person."
The 49ers were connected to Brown in the offseason before he was dealt to the Raiders.
Brown had a short tenure with the Raiders, going through frostbitten feet, multiple helmet grievances, a heated altercation with general manager Mike Mayock and fines that voided the guaranteed money in his contract before being released prior to the start of the season. Brown quickly was signed by the Patriots, but then his former trainer filed a federal civil lawsuit alleging Brown had sexually assaulted her three times, including one case in which Brown allegedly forcibly raped her. Another woman came forward and told Sports Illustrated that Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her to which the receiver responded to by sending threatening and menacing text messages to her in which he referenced her kids.
The Patriots released Brown one day after the text messages surfaced.
49ers legend Jerry Rice vouched for Brown while the 49ers reportedly were trying to acquire him from the Steelers and Whitner thinks Brown can bring something special to the 5-0 49ers.
"Jerry Rice would vouch for him again," Whitner said. "He understands what type of dynamic he brings to the organization and the football team. He sells tickets, he scores touchdowns, he's going to help you win football games. This is all about getting that sixth trophy. I thought we were all about winning. Like Al Davis said -- I know nobody wants to hear an Al Davis quote -- 'Just win baby!' The Patriots took a chance on him even though he had a lot of turmoil. The Patriots cheat and do everything. They film you at walkthroughs, they get players they are not supposed to and then they sweep it under the rug.
"Antonio Brown deserves to be on a football team. If he came to the Niners they are instantly Super Bowl favorite."
Brown currently has multiple grievances filed to try and recoup his lost money from the Raiders and Patriots. The NFL also still is investigating the claims against Brown, so it seems unlikely he will be signed any time soon.
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