UPDATE (6 p.m.): Antonio Brown has signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. Read NBC Sports Washington's coverage of the All-Pro wide receiver's new contract here.
Antonio Brown is back on the free agent market. The star wide receiver has racked up seven 1,000-yard seasons over the last eight years, but the Oakland Raiders released him Saturday following a drama-filled offseason that culminated with Brown recording a phone call between him and head coach Jon Gruden and posting it on YouTube.
He’s now an unrestricted free agent, meaning any team who’s willing to look past his off-the-field issues has an opportunity to sign an All-Pro receiver at what’s expected to be a relative discount.
The Washington Redskins haven’t been connected to Brown in any reports, but as NBC Sports Washington's JP Finaly points out, the team has a history of taking a chance on players.
One thing to watch for Antonio Brown: Money. Bruce Allen is not scared of bad PR, and he loves a bargain. Brown on a one-year, inventive deal for less than $10M? I think AB at that price would interest BA— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) September 7, 2019
Here’s three examples:
Adrian Peterson - RB
After Derrius Guice tore his ACL in the Redskins’ preseason opener last season, the team’s running back depth appeared dangerously thin. Washington agreed to a one-year deal with Peterson two weeks later, hoping the then-33-year-old still had something left in the tank.
Peterson, who missed all but one game in 2014 due to child abuse charges, tore his meniscus two weeks into the 2016 season, forcing him to miss almost the entire rest of the season before the Minnesota Vikings declined his $18 million option for 2017. He signed with the New Orleans Saints the following year, but was traded to the Arizona Cardinals midseason after falling down the team’s depth chart.
Washington's low-risk signing proved to be a bargain, as Peterson started all 16 games and rushed for 1,042 yards and seven touchdowns. The team has since re-signed him to a two-year extension worth $8 million to play alongside Guice upon the sophomore back’s return.
Reuben Foster – LB
Two days after Foster was arrested on domestic battery charges in late November 2018, the Redskins claimed him off waivers from the San Francisco 49ers.
Foster got off to a rocky start to his post-college career when he failed a drug test and was dismissed from the NFL scouting combine for his behavior. His rookie season went incident-free, but he struggled with ankle and rib injuries that limited him to just 10 games. But his issues returned in 2018 when he received a two-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance abuse and conduct policy before the pair of domestic violence incidents.
The latest charges were later dropped and the NFL decided not to suspend him in April. A month later, however, Foster tore his ACL at an offseason practice and is now expected to miss the entire 2019 season.
Rex Grossman – QB
Washington agreed to terms with veteran signal caller Rex Grossman prior to the 2010 season, bringing him to Washington on a one-year deal after he threw just 35 passes over the previous two years. But he wasn’t the only quarterback acquired by the Redskins that year; the team traded for Donovan McNabb less than a month later, pushing Grossman into a backup role.
But McNabb’s tenure in D.C. would last just one tumultuous season, and Grossman won the starting job over John Beck out of training camp in 2011. He played 13 games that season—Washington benched him for three weeks—and finished with 3,151 passing yards to go with 16 touchdowns and 20 interceptions.
That would be his final season as a starting quarterback. Grossman signed consecutive one-year deals in 2012 and 2013 to back up Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins but never again saw the field in a regular-season game.
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