Friday PM update: The Bucs have swooped in and are now expected to sign Brown, per reports.
Antonio Brown’ was suspended for for eight games for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy in July, but the former Pittsburgh Steelers receiver’s suspension is set to end after Week 8 of the 2020 season. It is worth noting the NFL is still investigating sexual assault allegations and as Lindsay Jones noted, teams can sign Brown but he could still face further discipline.
The Seattle Seahawks are favored to sign the wide out, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Several other teams are expected to pursue Brown, who was released by the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Patriots in 2019. He hasn’t played in a game since last September but is considered to be a game changer capable if improving any receiving corps significantly.
Let’s take a look at what teams have a real shot at signing Brown.
Pete Carroll said Seattle wasn’t interested in Brown after he was released by the Patriot last year, but it appears like things have changed. Brown could take the Seahawks’ passing attack, which is arguably the best in the NFL, to new heights. While Wilson ranks 13th in passing yards, he leads the league with 19 touchdown passes and is on pace to break Peyton Manning’s single-season record of 55. DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are both inside the top 10 in receiving touchdowns. Adding an All-Pro would only make the NFL’s fifth highest-scoring offense better.
The Ravens have the fourth-fewest passing yards in the NFL and have only lost to the Kansas City Chiefs. Reigning MVP Lamar Jackson spoke positively about Brown over the offseason and said he hoped the Ravens would sign him. Brown has a good relationship with Jackson and his cousin — Marquise Brown — is the most dangerous receiver Baltimore has to offer. If AB wants to join a real contender, there aren’t many places that can offer what the Ravens have.
Brown worked out for New Orleans last December and Drew Brees is in major need of a go-to guy. While Michael Thomas should be set to return and play for the first time since he suffered an ankle sprain in Week 1, the Saints are very limited at receiver. Brown is a receiver who can eat up yards after the catch. That would benefit Brees, who hasn’t looked to stretch the field much in 2020.