With the Packers in need of playmakers at the receiver position, would it make sense to bring in Antonio Brown?
Before everyone gets all excited, this isn’t me saying they will. The Green Bay Packers tend to stay away from players who may bring a lot of unneeded attention to the small town of Green Bay, Wisconsin. But here’s the thing, he’s good. He’s really good. The Packers could use some of that on offense.
The Packers drafting Jordan Love in the first round seemed to signal an end in sight for Aaron Rodgers. One Super Bowl with Rodgers at the helm seems like a disappointment. They got close three other times, reaching the NFC Championship game, but falling short in all three.
After going 13-3 last season, expectations are high for this year’s squad. Although, I don’t think it’s out of the question to assume they might regress a bit this season. Their schedule is more difficult than it was last year. With all that in mind, Rodgers’ clock is ticking.
On top of that, there are some important players entering the final year of their contract this season. Kenny Clark and David Bakhtiari will and deservedly both receive big paydays, but that means players like Aaron Jones, Kevin King, and Corey Linsley could walk in free agency. Those are some big hits to take if the Packers can’t replace them in the draft.
With all this in mind, it might be time to face the facts that the Packers should be all-in the next two seasons with Aaron Rodgers. Now, we all know that’s not how the Packers operate. They want to sustain success and not mortgage the future for a run that will last one or two years. But with Rodgers, it may be worth it.
Enter Antonio Brown.
Yes, he is a media circus on wheels, or at least he was. We haven’t been hearing much about AB since the end of the season other than his apology for his behavior and that there are reports that there has been no interest in Brown by any team in the league.
Now, ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky thinks the Packers should give AB a call. After thinking about it for a bit, I’m starting to come around on the idea. Before you roll your eyes and say no, let’s just think about this for a minute.
First, there isn’t a market for Brown at all. The Patriots just signed a former MVP quarterback in Cam Newton for an insanely cheap deal. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Pats were really the only team talking to Newton. The Packers could find themselves in a similar situation with Brown.
If the Packers are the only team offering a deal, they would dictate the market. If Brown wouldn’t take a deal that low, the Packers can move on easy. But I would think Brown is desperate to get back and would be willing to take a one-year earn-it deal if the Packers offered one.
Next, we all know Green Bay is the smallest market in the NFL, and maybe even pro sports in general. It is often difficult for the Packers to get free agents to consider coming to Green Bay because the nightlife isn’t as appealing as other bigger cities. Putting a positive spin on this: Brown could do well in Green Bay because there aren’t as many places for him to get into trouble.
Now, you can get into mess anywhere if you are looking for trouble, but the chances of it happening in Green Bay, Wisconsin are smaller than bigger cities. Green Bay could be the perfect spot for Brown to start over and rebuild his image.
Finally, I think having a quarterback like Rodgers would help. While he was in New England, he and quarterback Tom Brady seemed to get along very well. In fact, he was staying with Brady. I think having a proven quarterback will help keep him in line. I think Rodgers, along with other veterans on the team would be able to keep him in line.
With a new agent and nowhere to go but up, Brown could be worth the risk for the Packers. If the Packers were able to sign him to a veteran minimum deal, or a deal loaded with incentives, it would be low-risk and high-reward. Worst-case scenario, he does something erratic and shows he hasn’t changed, and the Packers cut him and move on, similar to what New England did last season.
Now, imagine the Packers offense lining up with Davante Adams, AB, Aaron Jones, Jace Sternberger, and Allen Lazard. It’s going to be a pick-your-poison situation for the defense. No matter what, you can’t double both Adams and Brown, either way, one of them is a big play waiting to happen.
I know a lot of Packers fans, including myself, wanted nothing to do with him last season, but if he can help bring another Lombardi to Green Bay and do it without incident, it would be a win for both sides involved.