There have been plenty of rumblings in Redskins' nation regarding the possible signing of free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown. It has been well documented that Brown and Redskins' quarterback Dwayne Haskins have been working out together during the off season. There are some that have been critical of the two working together and others are advocates. The soon to be 32 year old Brown is a 7 time Pro Bowler, and 4 time first team All-Pro. His reputation speaks for itself. The problem is, it speaks two different languages. There is the dynamic, playmaking receiver that is unguardable and speaks with his play on the field, then there is the malcontent diva that is a constant distraction in your organization. Are the Redskins willing to take a chance on signing Brown to a contract?
There are a number of ways you can look at this, but to me there is just one thing you ask yourself:
Does he make the Redskins better?
The current wide receiver core is a combination of young kids with unproven talent. Brown is looking for a way to salvage his career and get back into the NFL. Depending on your perspective, the Redskins may not only be a possible destination, but the ideal circumstance for Brown. If Brown was to embrace his role as a mentor to the Redskins' young wide receivers, and Dwayne Haskins, he could possibly change the narrative of his career. AB could get an opportunity at reestablishing himself as an elite receiver in the league and help others in the process. If anyone can handle a personality such as Brown's, I would say Redskins' head coach Ron Rivera would be close to the top of that list. Part of being a great coach is being able to manage different personalities and get the most out of players. Rivera has proven he is able to do both during his tenure with the Carolina Panthers.
The Washington Redskins were 3-13 last season, and are looking to make a considerable jump in progress this season. Signing Brown to a one-year incentive based contract would be a no-brainer with the talent he possesses and the instant impact he could have. In a situation where the Redskins decide to bring him aboard, he would be well aware that this is most likely his final opportunity to prove he belongs on an NFL roster. No one questions Brown's ability. The questions are "can he be a good teammate" and "can he be professional". If he commits to that, the Redskins could find themselves a much needed playmaker and compliment to Dwayne Haskins who has already established a relationship and cohesiveness with Brown. Brown is historically one of the best route runners in NFL history, and his explosiveness has been matched by few. At age 32, you can only hope that his maturity level is starting to catch up to his level of production.
On the negative side, Brown could become divisive and cause issues within the locker room because of his antics or inability to accept his role. This would not be a positive situation and Brown would become an instant liability with the first comment he makes publicly relative to him being unhappy. That is why if the Redskins were to give him an opportunity, it would definitely need to be an incentive based contract without guaranteed money. You can only hope that Brown has learned from his previous experiences with the Steelers, Raiders, and Patriots. The rope is getting shorter and shorter and he has absolutely no room for error. The great thing is Ron Rivera will be in total control, and at the moment he believes Antonio Brown may serve as a distraction, he will no longer be a Washington Redskin. At the end of the day, it's worth a shot in an effort to get really good really fast on offense, and the Redskins could use a proven player or two that still has the ability to play at a high level. There is nothing wrong with a little trial and error when you are trying to find the winning recipe, but are the Redskins willing to take that risk? As you were...
Photo Credit: Washington Redskins