NFL rumors: Russell Wilson 'would love' Seahawks to sign Antonio Brown

NFL rumors: Russell Wilson 'would love' Seahawks to sign Antonio Brown

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me three times, shame on both of us.

But what about a fourth or fifth time?

It appears Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson wants to find out. Controversial receiver Antonio Brown wore out his welcome with quite a few teams in rather short order, but according to 710 ESPN Seattle's John Clayton, Wilson isn't deterred by any of that.

"It’s pretty clear the Seahawks want to run the ball even more this year,” Clayton wrote Friday. “They have loaded up at tight end and tried to stay big along the offensive line. But it’s not out of the question for the Seahawks to add another wide receiver. According to sources, Wilson would love to add Antonio Brown. Brown is also close with backup QB Geno Smith, whose one-year contract with the Seahawks was finalized Wednesday."

There's no denying Brown's talent, but why Wilson would expect him to act any differently in Seattle than he did during his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots and Las Vegas Raiders is anyone's guess. At no point since the Steelers decided he wasn't worth the headache has Brown proven himself capable of fitting into an NFL locker room. He has clashed with coaches and players on the field, and gotten into plenty of trouble off of it as well.

As Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio explained, even if the Seahawks were to sign Brown, there's no guarantee he would ever be able to play for them.

"Of course, Brown can’t play for anyone until a trio of pending Personal Conduct Policy investigations have concluded," Florio wrote. "From last September’s lawsuit alleging sexual assault and rape to alleged harassment of another female who made claims against him to SI.com to an incident with a moving-truck driver that resulted in an arrest and multiple charges, Brown could be facing a significant suspension before he’s permitted to play again."

Given Brown's reputation, combined with the presence of Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf, it really doesn't seem like he would be worth the trouble for Seattle. Of course, it's possible Wilson views himself as the right leader to get the most out of Brown. Then again, we've heard that before.

[RELATED: Report: Seahawks agree to deal with former 49ers RB Hyde]

It's a flashy name and, yeah, Brown and Wilson theoretically could work wonders together. But he is far more likely to do more damage than good, and for that reason, the 49ers and the rest of the NFC West shouldn't be worried one bit.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Re-grading Jimmy Garoppolo trade: 49ers receive A-plus, Patriots get D-minus

Re-grading Jimmy Garoppolo trade: 49ers receive A-plus, Patriots get D-minus

Teams that trade with the New England Patriots do so at their own risk. Bill Belichick seems to get the better end of the deal more often than not.

So when the 49ers acquired quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in exchange for San Francisco's second-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, there was plenty of excitement, but also a lingering question as to whether or not Belichick knew something they didn't. 

Two-plus seasons later, Garoppolo already has exceeded the value the 49ers gave up in that transaction, and the trade in general can be viewed as overwhelmingly in San Francisco's favor.

Bleacher Report's Brad Gagnon included it in the nine most impactful NFL trades of the last decade, and he firmly agrees. In re-grading the trade, he gave the 49ers an A-plus, while the Patriots received a D-minus.

"The San Francisco 49ers' decision to acquire potential franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo from the New England Patriots at the 2017 trade deadline has rarely looked bad," Gagnon wrote. "When the deal went down, it was widely perceived as a worthwhile risk for the price of a second-round draft pick. When Garoppolo won his first five starts with a weak 49ers team that year, the deal began to look like a coup.

"And now, with the 49ers coming off a Super Bowl season with Jimmy G under center, and with New England high and dry under center following Tom Brady's departure in free agency, it's beginning to look like a stroke of genius."

Since acquiring Garoppolo, the 49ers have won 19 of the 24 regular-season games he has started. Only the Baltimore Ravens' Lamar Jackson has a better winning percentage among qualifying NFL quarterbacks over that span.

While Gagnon concedes that Garoppolo still has ample room for improvement, he argues that he was worth more than a second-round pick -- particularly to the Patriots, who now don't have Garoppolo or Brady. Of course, the trade isn't just about Jimmy G; there's another side to it as well.

As what Gagnon refers to as "the draft's ultimate wheeler-and-dealer," Belichick and the Patriots did well to turn the second-rounder they received from San Francisco into multiple players. Several, in fact. The problem for them is they got plenty of quantity, but not enough quality.

Through a series of trades, New England turned the 49ers' second-round pick, another 2018 second-rounder, two 2019 third-round picks, a fourth-, a sixth- and two seventh-round picks in 2019, a 2020 fourth-rounder and a 2021 sixth-round selection into:

  • cornerback Joejuan Williams
  • linebacker Christian Sam
  • running back Damien Harris
  • offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste
  • defensive lineman Byron Cowart
  • tight end Dalton Keene
  • punter Jake Bailey
  • quarterback Jarrett Stidham

Not exactly a collection of stars.

[RELATED: Jimmy G-Kittle is a better QB-TE combo than Brady-Gronk]

Now, it certainly seems like the Patriots are expecting Stidham to start this season. If he performs well, they'll obviously have gotten much more out of the Garoppolo trade than it currently appears. But, as Gagnon summarized, as things currently stand, "there's no argument right now that the Patriots have gotten the better end of this deal."

Garoppolo has led the 49ers to many wins since the trade, but the transaction itself was a major victory.

[49ERS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Tom Brady idolized, then surpassed 49ers' Joe Montana in GOAT debate

montanabradygetty.jpg
Getty Images

Tom Brady idolized, then surpassed 49ers' Joe Montana in GOAT debate

Growing up in San Mateo, Tom Brady was a huge fan of Joe Montana. He was at Candlestick Park to witness "The Catch" and saw Montana play his final game with the 49ers.

Decades later, Brady and Montana sit alone as the two greatest quarterbacks of all time. The debate will go on long after all of us have turned to dirt, with neither side giving an inch even as the apocalypse inches closer. That's just how sports and tribalism work.

But there are no sports and "The Last Dance" has left us all debating hypothetical matchups, top 10 lists, GOATS and who knows what else until we're blue in the face. So, let's take a brief and relatively painless look at why the San Mateo kid -- who once idolized Montana and similarly chose to finish his career on his own terms -- caught and passed the 49ers legend as the greatest of all-time.

Montana's credentials are well known. Joe Cool went 4-0 in Super Bowls and was a three-time Super Bowl MVP. He threw for 40,551 yards, 273 touchdowns and had a 92.3 passer rating. More important than the numbers, Montana was calm, cool and collected under pressure.

With Montana under center, the 49ers were never out of a game. That includes the 92-yard drive to win Super Bowl XXIII. Montana rarely made mistakes when it mattered. In the 1988 and 1989 playoffs, Montana threw 19 touchdowns and only one interception.

There's a reason he was the unquestioned GOAT until recently, but Brady's comeback from the 28-3 deficit in Super Bowl LI gave him a lead that he won't relinquish.

Brady has gone to nine Super Bowls and won six of them. In those three losses, the New England Patriots defense gave up two game-winning drives to Eli Manning and was torched by Nick Foles. Playing in a passer-friendly era, Brady's stats dwarf Montana's. Brady has 219 regular-season wins and 30 postseason wins. He has thrown 541 career touchdown passes. Brady has also thrown for 11,179 yards in the postseason, besting Peyton Manning by almost 4,000 yards and beating Montana by more than 5,000.

Plus, Brady has done more with less during his career. While Montana got to play alongside the likes of Jerry Rice, Dwight Clark and Roger Craig, Brady got limited time with Randy Moss and has had to win with an average group of pass-catchers -- outside of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Wes Welker, Julian Edelman and Deion Branch were decent NFL receivers, but that's a lot less than a lot of marquee quarterbacks are given to win Super Bowls.

At age 41, Brady threw for 4,355 yards and won the Super Bowl. This past season, with almost no offensive help, he threw for 4,057 yards. The Patriots won at least 12 games 12 times in the Brady era and won the AFC East a whopping 17 times (due to a combination of the Patriots' greatness and the lack of quality opponents in the division).

[RELATED: NFL history would have been different if Bears drafted Montana]

Heading toward age 43, Brady followed in Montana's footsteps and left the only team he has ever known, choosing to join the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the offseason. Montana, Manning and Brett Favre are the only legendary quarterbacks to switch teams late in their career and find success, with only Manning winning a title thanks to a vaunted Denver Broncos defense.

Montana was successful during his final run with the Kansas City Chiefs but failed to win a title.

Debating greatness across eras is relatively pointless. Those who watched Montana in his heyday will undoubtedly claim he's the GOAT no matter how many titles Brady wins, just as grandparents everywhere scold their grandkids for thinking LeBron James is in the same conversation with Michael Jordan.

Brady watched Montana and dreamed of doing what his idol did on Sundays. Then, he went out and eclipsed him.

Tom Brady might not say it. But I will.