Antonio Brown Goes to the Raiders

Over the weekend of March 10th, wide receiver Antonio Brown shocked many fans leaving the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Oakland Raiders. On Twitter, Brown made a post thanking Steelers fans for allowing him to play the last nine years with them. He ended off with “…time to move on and forward..”. While some beg to differ what the trade was all about– power, respect, aging, double standards– at the end of the day, it all leads to money.  

In this trade, the Steelers would rather lose one of the league’s best wide receivers to keep over $22.2 million of salary in order to have $21.1 million in dead money on their 2019 salary allowing Brown play for another team. Usually, organizations will do this when they want to keep a player that made off-field indiscretions (ex. Junior Galette), but it usually lasts for two years.

The organization was unfairly paying its faculty including players in which Brown found unamusing. He asked for a higher pay raise in order for him to stay on the team, and when the Steelers weren’t able to, he decided to look otherwhere. With the Raiders, he will get a “fully guaranteed” $30 million and about $34 million in his with two years with Oakland. The Steelers were set on paying him $26 million, but it wasn’t “fully guaranteed.” While no one knows if he would’ve made this amount with Pittsburgh, it’s safe to assume he would have made it all because the Steelers were not going to cut him.

In Brown’s defense, although he wanted a higher pay raise that the Steelers could not provide for him, he also wanted better team bonding. The wide receiver and the quarterback of a team, even the team in general, should be close on and off the field. Brown revealed that his now ex-quarterback and ex-teammate Ben Roethlisberger only stepped into his house once and vise versa! Seeing other teams like the New England Patriots regularly winning, it shows how Tom Brady as a quarterback is close to his teammates outside of practices and games, which makes them also work well in games.

Are the Pittsburgh Steelers losing their best receiver? That is the question many people are wondering. To answer that question, no they are not. This is because they have Juju Smith-Schuster. Now with Brown gone, we will see more of Schuester since before all the attention was focused on Brown. ESPN states, “One of the reasons the Steelers will be able to make this trade and sleep at night is the presence of JuJu Smith-Schuster, who doesn’t turn 23 until November and looks to be one of the most promising young wideouts in recent memory.” Schuester was one of the youngest players ever to be inducted into the NFL at age nineteen, playing only one year of football at USC. Since the time of his arrival in Pittsburgh during week nine of a previous season, he averaged with an amazing 91.8 receiving yards a game, ranking himself fourth behind Hopkins, Jones, and Brown.

In the end, Antonio Brown could’ve stayed with the Steelers or gone with other teams like the Buffalo, Eagles, Redskins, and the Buffalo, but he chose to go to the Raiders. Although some fans might be upset over the trade, Brown might be the key to the Raiders having success, a thing they haven’t had in a while.