The Redskins Talk Podcast took a look at how much it'd cost the Redskins to acquire Antonio Brown, and whether the move would be worthwhile.
Click play in the embedded podcast player below to listen to the entire podcast.
The Redskins need an offensive playmaker. Anybody that watched many Washington games in 2017 saw that glaring need, particularly at the receiver position.
And now, Antonio Brown is absolutely available.
The Steelers wideout is probably the best receiver in football. He has elite speed, great hands and off-the-charts athleticism. In the past six years, he's had at least 100 catches and 1,200 yards every season. He's made the Pro Bowl six years straight, and he's been named All-Pro four times in that span.
There is zero question about Brown's talent. Zero. He's elite.
The questions come from what drove a big enough wedge between Brown and Pittsburgh that he's demanded a trade, and that the Steelers have agreed to try.
Beyond that, the more pressing question for the rest of the NFL is where Brown will end up. NBC Sports' Peter King suggested the Redskins could be a landing spot for Brown.
Could it be? King wrote:
A smart guy in the league told me the other day: “Look for the desperate teams with Brown.” What team is more desperate than Washington, which is hemorrhaging fans, has no idea who the 2019 quarterback will be, has no idea who the 2020 coach will be, hasn’t won a playoff game in 14 years, and has an embattled owner searching for anything that will get his team out of the muck and mire of mediocrity? This also fits the Pittsburgh plan of wanting to send Brown out of the AFC. The problem, obviously, would be finding a quarterback to get the ball to Brown. But Washington’s a team that loves to win the offseason and hasn’t done so in a while. I’d be surprised if Bruce Allen and Kevin Colbert don’t talk about Brown.
Inside the Beltway, folks want to know if Brown's availability is the exact answer to the Redskins' lack of playmakers. A case can be made either way.
The case for the Redskins trading for Antonio Brown
Brown had 104 catches for 1,297 yards with 15 touchdowns last season.
The Redskins top three receivers - Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and Maurice Harris - had 101 catches for 1,224 yards and four touchdowns last season. Combined.
Washington needs a big-play wideout, desperately. And don't forget Crowder could leave the team when free agency opens in a few weeks.
With four selections in the Top 100, the 'Skins have a decent arsenal of valuable draft picks to offer in a trade. Additionally, the Burgundy and Gold have a bunch of late-round picks they could use to sweeten a trade offer. That includes three fifth-round picks and two seventh-round picks. Keep in mind, however, the 'Skins don't have a fourth-round selection.
Word is the Steelers are being selective about what teams they will talk about trading Brown. Excluded from discussions will be teams in the AFC North and certainly the New England Patriots.
As the Steelers possible trade partners shrink, maybe the Redskins can make a reasonable offer of a second and third-round pick. Washington cannot offer a first, the team just has too many holes, but getting Brown and still having a third-round selection would be a tremendous coup for Bruce Allen.
Brown wants big chunks of his remaining contract converted to guaranteed money. Washington is hard up against the salary cap, and to even entertain a move for Brown would require significant cap relief. That would likely come in the form of releasing numerous players and restructuring others.
But, in an odd way, the Redskins could be better off moving Brown's cash to a signing bonus. It would give Brown the guarantees he wants, and allow Washington to spread that money out over the remainder of the contract.
It's a long shot, but it's not impossible. Brown would be a tremendous talent upgrade if this scenario somehow unfolds.
The case against trading for Antonio Brown
Everything you just read above? It's damn near impossible.
Pittsburgh will want a first-round pick for Brown. The Redskins CANNOT give up a first-rounder for a receiver that's going to be 31 this fall.
Washington needs a lot of help all over the field, and using that cap space and draft capital on one player does not make sense. Remember the trade for Robert Griffin III, combined with the $36 million salary cap penalty sent down from the NFL in 2012, that set the organization back for years?
Giving up draft picks for Brown, combined with Alex Smith's remaining $40 million on the salary cap, could spell the same doom.
Beyond that, there are serious questions about Brown the teammate. Not his work ethic, and not his ability, but his temperament and actions inside the locker room. The volatile wideout wore out his welcome with one of the best franchises in the history of professional sports.
What will Brown's act look like in D.C.? The team has not handled high-profile, high drama talent particularly well over the last two decades.
Not to mention, who is going to throw Brown the ball? All receivers like to get the football, and Brown might not realize how good he had it playing with Ben Roethlisberger. For all of his personality faults, Roethlisberger puts his receivers in position to make plays. Always.
Will that happen with Colt McCoy and whatever other QBs the Redskins bring in for 2019?
Making a flash move just for the sake of a flash move is a terrible idea. Not to mention the Redskins don't have anywhere close to the cap room needed to acquire Brown.
Sure, Brown is an elite talent, but Redskins fans looking for long-term franchise success should shut this conversation down before it begins.
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