The Raiders are interested in the prospect of trading for Antonio Brown, and have been for a while now. They have the draft capital to acquire the top-flight receiver from Pittsburgh, and the salary-cap flexibility to pay his going rate.
That’s a rare combination these days, which puts the Silver and Black firmly in the mix to land the four-time First-Team All-Pro.
There are pros and cons to such a transaction for an older player at this stage of the Raiders' rebuild under head coach Jon Gruden, and they’ve already been analyzed to death.
The man possibly throwing Brown passes next year, however, would be excited to add such a talent. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Brown would be welcomed to the Silver and Black.
“I would imagine he’s definitely in play,” Carr said Saturday night during his “Inside the Huddle” charity event benefitting Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, via the Fresno Bee. “I hope he’s in play. It would be great to add a guy like that to your team, talent like that. I don’t know what it’s going to cost. The contract stuff starts getting in the way and they got to figure out numbers and all that kind of stuff.
"I don’t really like the business side of football. but I just like adding good players to our football team. If it works out in the business side, I know the locker room will be arms wide open to accepting Antonio.”
Carr threw for 4,049 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions last season without much talent at receiver. Amari Cooper was traded near midseason and Jordy Nelson played slower and was hurt on occasion, leaving no intimidating presence at receiver much of the year.
Brown would step right in as the top option, even if the Raiders drafted a receiver in the NFL draft’s early rounds.
[Antonio Brown trade: Raiders' costs, benefits of pursuing wide receiver]
The Steelers are reportedly asking for a first-round pick in trade for Brown, and the Raiders have Nos. 4, 24 and 27 overall available then, as well as the No. 35 selection.
It’s uncertain what the Raiders would give up to get Brown, and there should be other teams interested in acquiring a top-flight talent who has a recent reputation for being tough to deal with. The Raiders are interested in Brown, and Carr would love to have him on the roster.