It may be a long shot, but some oddsmakers have the Oakland Raiders as a favorite to land wide receiver Antonio Brown this offseason.
The Oakland Raiders stumbled through a 4-12 season in 2018, and ended the year with Jordy Nelson atop their depth chart at wide receiver. In 2019, that man could end up being Antonio Brown, who is suddenly on the outs in Pittsburgh, and could have a new home in 2019.
One of the more surprising moves of the 2018 NFL season was the Pittsburgh Steelers sitting out Brown in the final week of the season. The Pro Bowl wide receiver has long been one of the best in the NFL at his position, and in a game of that kind of magnitude, you would figure he would be a huge part of their gameplan.
Brown decided to miss some practices after a skirmish with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, but still showed up in Week 17 expecting to play. The Steelers ended up being eliminated from playoff contention later on that Sunday, and it looks like Brown may have played his last game for the Steelers organization.
Bookmaker released their early odd on where Brown will be playing in Week 1, and the Raiders were one of the top-four teams listed. San Francisco (+211) was the favorite, followed by the Pittsburgh Steelers (+403), New York Jets (+555), and the Raiders (+606).
The Arizona Cardinals (+708) rounded out the top-five.
Brown makes sense for all of these organization, but at what price, as he is an over-$20 million cap hit to the Steelers whether or not he plays for them next season. The Steelers will be looking to get something big in return for Brown’s services, and the Raiders certainly have the draft capital to pull off a monster deal.
However, the Raiders are in no position to start throwing big money at an aging wide receiver, no matter how good he could be for a year or two. This team needs to utilize their draft picks to build up a complete roster, or else why not pay Khalil Mack the money he wanted this past offseason.
Brown is a fantastic talent, and could certainly help this team next season. My guess is he will be playing in the Bay Area next season, but for the 49ers, who need a standout wide receiver for Jimmy Garoppolo, and could be willing to part with some draft picks in order to get him.