Mike Florio: Seahawks leaked interest in Antonio Brown to avoid signing him


On Wednesday, the Seattle Seahawks reportedly had an interest in signing Antonio Brown with ESPN's Adam Schefter reporting the franchise will “push to sign him.”  

Among his most vocal supporters was quarterback Russell Wilson who said that Brown could grow as a person in Seattle, as well as help the Seahawks win games. 

“I don’t know what’s going to happen with him or not, how serious it is with us getting him or not,” Wilson said. “But I do know that he can play some football.

“If he does play again, I think this is a place where he’ll grow a lot as a man. I think we’re going to continue to try and help anyone who walks in this locker room. That’s just part of our culture.”

However, on Friday Brown agreed to a one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers causing people to wonder what went wrong with Seattle's pursuit of the former All-Pro. 

NBC Sports' Mike Florio thinks Seattle never had any intention of signing Brown, but rather wanted to get another team to sign him so head coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider didn't have to tell their franchise quarterback "No." 


"With quarterback Russell Wilson speaking in such glowing terms about Brown, it seemed clear that Wilson wanted him on the team. Carroll and G.M. John Schneider may not have wanted to risk adding Brown to the roster, but they also may not have wanted to tell their MVP candidate of a quarterback that they wouldn’t sign him," wrote Florio.

"By making it known that they were interested, the Seahawks essentially shouted 'speak now or forever hold your peace' and waited for someone else to speak for Brown before they could. If so, it worked."

A source additionally predicted to Florio that Seattle will "sign someone else or trade for someone," now that Brown is destined for Tampa Bay. 

Florio adds that Baltimore may have made the same decision with Lamar Jackson and Marquise Brown wanting Antonio Brown on the Ravens, but the team instead signing Dez Bryant. 

In an earlier column, Florio also theorized Seattle's reported interest was leaked so Brown could act as a Trojan Horse and ruin another NFL contender from the inside, giving Seattle better odds of winning the franchise's second championship. 

"It’s possibly a Trojan Horse-style concept, a next-level effort by the Seahawks to get the Buccaneers to disrupt team chemistry with a guy who will potentially throw everything out of whack."

Will Brown work out in Tampa Bay or did the Seahawks avoid disaster by not signing him? Time will tell. 

[Listen to the latest Talkin’ Seahawks Podcast with host Joe Fann]