The last question of Ron Rivera's Wednesday Zoom press conference was about whether he and the Redskins would consider signing Antonio Brown this offseason.
In his answer, Rivera used 415 words, and while none of those 415 words was "no," the coach essentially explained that no, Washington isn't interested in the receiver's services.
"If you bring in a veteran right now, you're going to stunt the growth of somebody young," Rivera told the media. "We've got some young guys at wide receiver that have shown potential over the last season and now into the offseason. We haven't really had the chance to watch them."
The reason Brown's name came up specifically is because he worked out with Dwayne Haskins a few weeks ago. So, naturally, every single person who cares about the Burgundy and Gold had an opinion on whether the organization would be wise to take Brown's talents (and problems) on.
And for those who were convinced it was the right move, well, you can probably look to spend the money you had reserved for an 84 jersey on something else instead.
"I know who Antonio Brown is, I know he's a great player. He's an impact guy," Rivera said. "He's also a veteran guy, and we've got some young guys that we need to find out about. Again, that's kind of the approach, we want to see what we have."
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Yes, Brown would instantly upgrade the Redskins' offense; the numbers on his Pro Football Reference page are beyond ridiculous.
But Rivera seems completely committed to continuing to develop Terry McLaurin, Steven Sims and Kelvin Harmon, as well as giving someone like Antonio Gandy-Golden a shot at cracking the lineup. All of those targets are 24 or younger, while Brown will be 32 when the 2020 season commences.
There was something else Rivera didn't even touch on in his response, but it's another factor that's surely on his mind.
Brown orchestrated a very public exit from the Raiders last year, and his stint with the Patriots lasted just 11 days before they moved on from him as well. At both stops, his presence was very controversial, and there's a decent chance he'd have to serve a lengthy suspension for his off-field conduct, too, before even returning to the field.
Is that the kind of figure Rivera wants to introduce as he's trying to build up the Redskins' culture? Most certainly not.
In the end, though, he didn't go there. Rivera just stuck with the purely football side of things, and his stance there made perfect sense on its own.
"You want to know who your guys are, who your guys are going to be," he said. "It can help you in terms of going forward because these are the guys that you want to put your energy toward in terms of the development of your football team."
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