I’ll be keeping a particular eye on the Raiders and Eagles in the Antonio Brown sweepstakes. Much was made of the Titans elsewhere as a potential suitor, but I’m told they have nothing going with the Steelers. The Skins have internal issues about the feasibility of a Brown trade. Owner Dan Snyder is most intrigued by it but others are cautioning against it. The Saints and Seahawks strongly considered the matter internally but don’t appear to be moving forward with it. And the Steelers won’t be cutting Brown to avoid a roster-bonus payment, either.
JLC didn’t further expand on Philly’s potential interest, but the sub-headline of his article seemingly references the Eagles as one of “two teams eyeing Antonio Brown.”
This actually isn’t the first time we’ve seen the Eagles connected to Brown. A couple weeks ago, ESPN wrote a piece citing NFL executives who believed the Eagles could be in the mix for the Steelers’ disgruntled wide receiver.
At the time, I wrote about why the Eagles trading for Brown doesn’t seem likely. Brown turns 31 in July and his 2019 base salary is $12.625 million. He’s also expressed desire for a new contract that awards him more guaranteed money. It just doesn’t seem like a natural fit for the Eagles, who are limited on cap space and need their draft picks to acquire young, inexpensive talent. Contrast the Eagles’ situation with the Raiders, who own three first-round selections in the 2019 NFL Draft, and have nearly $73 million in cap space.
With that said, it’s hard to entirely rule out Howie Roseman making a big splash. Brown is a future Hall of Fame talent. If his acquisition price is more affordable than expected (who thought the Eagles would be able to get Michael Bennett for a fifth-round selction last year?), maybe Philly tries to get involved. Former Eagles president Joe Banner didn’t discount the possibility in a recent interview with The Athletic:
“First of all, the answer is yes because if you’re an aggressive team and you’re exploring every possibility and you have a player of that talent level available, you’re at least calling. Remember, we traded a fifth-round pick and Brandon Whiting for (Terrell Owens). So you just never know. This goes back to the same thing. Let’s just say Antonio Brown wanted to get out of Pittsburgh so badly, wants to play for a winning team, that he would play under his existing contract for the right situation. Again, I go back to the same thing. Agholor is making $9.3 million. Brown is making $13 million. I can find ($3.7 million) and make that trade in a second. So I’m at least calling. I’m not telling you that I’m doing everything I can to get him. I’m just telling you that I’m at least calling, and if it turns out that the value is not earth-shattering, not gonna devastate my long-term plan, dramatically enhance my chance of winning this year’s Super Bowl, I can trade the dollars within my organization, I’m absolutely making that call. That’s different than telling you that I’m all in on it. It’s gonna depend on what I hear when I call the Steelers, which will be a very aggressive ask. But then I’m keeping my eye on it. I know what they’ll want. I don’t know what they’ll get. But yes, I’m definitely making that call. And I would be shocked if they’re not making that call. That’s just not the way they operate. They’re absolutely inquiring about things that could make the team better and open to making moves and not afraid of making mistakes. So I’m absolutely making that call. I’d be shocked if they’re not making that call. But there’s a big difference. Am I making that call really wanting to find a way to make it happen? Am I making that call because under the right circumstances I’d be interested in it? I think it’s the latter in this case.”
Speaking of The Athletic, Bo Wulf threw out the idea of including Nelson Agholor (along with a draft pick) in exchange for Brown on a recent Birds With Friends podcast. I mention this idea because over the weekend La Canfora suggested the Eagles could include Agholor in a trade for a veteran player. Hmm.
Again, I ultimately don’t expect the Eagles to land Brown. And that seems to be quite okay with a good portion of fans:
UPDATE: Zach Berman of the Inquirer says the Eagles aren’t interested in AB.
Eagles do not have interest in Antonio Brown, according to a league source.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) March 4, 2019