The Antonio Brown Saga: Meltdown or Well Planned?
There is no debating that Antonio Brown is one of if not the BEST Wide Receiver in the NFL. That being said the on going saga he's the center of is a little disturbing. AB was the top receiver in Pittsburgh on a stacked Steelers team. That is until he decided he wanted out and basically forced a trade to the Oakland Raiders, where he was the top receiver on a young less talented team. That is until he decided he wanted out and forced his release. Is AB "crazy" or calculated?
Full disclosure I am a die hard Raiders' fan. So obviously I'm not thrilled with how this all played out. When Antonio Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh I was happy the Raiders landed a player with his talent. When AB missed time with frostbite on his feet due to miss using cryotherapy, I was understanding. When AB missed more time and threatened to retire over his helmet, I started to get annoyed. When AB lashed out at Mike Mayock the Raiders' GM, I thought he was possibly in need of some help. When AB apologized to the team only to post a private phone call between himself and Raiders' Head Coach Jon Gruden on YouTube, I was convinced he needed help. Then AB posted on Instagram he wanted to be released. I thought his career was basically over. Who would take a chance on a player that forced his way out of two different teams in under a year. Then he signed with the New England Patriots and I had to wonder if this was his plan all along?
ESPN's Adam Schefter reminded us all that the Patriots were one of the first teams to contact the Steelers when they made AB available. The Steelers shot that trade down knowing the path to Super Bowl 54, maybe 55 and 56 would go through the Patriots. So after AB said no way he'd play in Buffalo, the Raiders trade a 3rd and 5th round draft pick for AB and rewrite his contract to give him $30 Million guaranteed. Yet here we are. The man who couldn't handle the discipline in Oakland joins Patriots' head coach Bill Belicick who is know for running a pretty tight ship. Seems fishy to me but if AB once again rebels we'll have to accept he needs help. IF he becomes a model citizen and helps the Pats win their 7th Super Bowl I'll always wonder if someone had this planned from the beginning.