Antonio Brown; Too Large a Risk for the Reward?

Adam Dapolite

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If you have followed the NFL offseason at all, then you know about the swirling storm of drama which us fans generously call the National Football League. The eye of this storm has been Antonio Brown who stirred up unprecedented amounts of drama for the NFL. 

The controversy started when Brown posted a picture of his frostbitten feet on August 5. This prompted reactions from several league officials including Raiders head coach Jon Gruden, who didn’t have much to say about his new star player claiming Brown had to be away from the team “gathering information” on his feet. Brown eventually told reporters his injury was the result of not wearing proper footwear in a cryotherapy machine. Though Brown was absent from training camp for a long period of time, the Raiders claim Brown will be able to play Week 1 of the regular season. 

Unfortunately, Brown wasn’t done causing problems for his new team. At the beginning of  August Brown began to claim his helmet posed problems which interfered with his catching ability. It’s not as if Brown was caught off guard by the NFL insisting he finds a new helmet. It is a written rule in the league that any helmet which has been worn for 10 years has to be replaced for safety reasons. Since realizing he has to make a change, Brown has filed and lost two grievances with the NFL with the hopes of some leeway on the helmet rule. Brown has even gone as far as to say he will retire if his demands to keep his old helmet are not met. As of late, there have no reports of retirement from Antonio Brown, but only time will tell. Other players have had similar experiences with their new helmets. The New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told reporters in regards to his helmet that he is “just trying to do the best I can to work with it.” It is statements like this which show clear cut differences between Brady and Brown. While both players agree they would prefer their old helmets, Brady didn’t threaten to retire or file grievances with the NFL like Brown did. 

So after all of the trouble, Brown is causing for his new team, is he worth the drama? Well, Brown had 104 receptions for 1,297 yards last season. With a 3 year/$50.125 million contract, Brown is the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL, but is he really worth his price tag? The short answer, no. Brown is costing his new team significantly more money than other players of the same caliper including Julio Jones and Michael Thomas. Keep in mind, neither Jones or Thomas have been shrouded in controversy the way Brown has this offseason. I completely agree with the General Manager of the Raiders when he said “it’s time for him to be all in or all out”