The second wave of free agency is underway. Many of the great, good, and solid receivers are off the market, and the Ravens still have a hole at the position. The Ravens have heavily pursued multiple receivers, and while they signed Sammy Watkins, the offense could still use another receiver. Insert Antonio Brown, who the Ravens know too well. Brown is one of the better WR free agents left on the market and the Ravens are desperate for one, but would signing AB actually be a good move?
The Ravens will have to trust that Antonio Brown can still perform at a high level. The Ravens current receivers are: Sammy Watkins, Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin, Devin Duvernay, James Proche, Deon Cain, Jaylon Moore and Binjimen Victor. It should go without saying that Baltimore definitely needs a talented WR. In 2020, Antonio Brown recorded 45 catches for 483 and 4 touchdowns as the Buccaneers third-string WR. He also scored a TD in Tampa Bay’s 31-9 Super Bowl victory. Antonio Brown was one of the best receivers of the 2010’s and was the best receiver in the NFL at one point. He’s extremely talented and has an amazing work ethic.
The reason why many teams, including the Ravens, have been concerned about Brown is his behavior. AB faced multiple lawsuits along with the internal drama he caused for multiple franchises. While AB has acted like a diva in the past, he has seemingly put those tendencies behind him. At this point in his career, he is no longer the selfish player that forced his way out of Pittsburgh. The Ravens A+ organization and winning culture should further push Antonio on the right path.
Another reason why the Ravens should sign Antonio Brown is because of his experience. Brown has played 10 years in the NFL. He would provide leadership to an extremely young WR core. In a year where cap space is tight, the Ravens also wouldn’t have to break the bank to sign AB. For someone who has the potential to be a great player again, he would come extremely cheap.
The Ravens have plenty of reasons to be interested in Antonio Brown. However, Brown is the one who has to sign the contract. Antonio Brown would be leaving the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who could be many people’s picks to repeat as Super Bowl champions next season. While the Ravens aren’t on that level, at least not yet, it still wouldn’t be a huge drop-off for AB. If the Ravens fill their most pressing needs, then they could easily be considered Super Bowl contenders as well.
Probably the biggest reason why Antonio Brown chose to sign with the Buccaneers is because of Tom Brady and it makes sense why. Brady is the greatest ever and played with Brown in New England. On the Ravens side, they have Marquise Brown, who is Antonio’s cousin along with Lamar Jackson, who trained with AB and heavily recruited him to Baltimore.
As I mentioned earlier, AB is only the third best receiver on the team. The Buccaneers will keep Chris Godwin for the 2021 season which means the duo of Godwin and Mike Evans will remain in Tampa Bay. The Buccaneers offense is loaded which means less time for Brown to shine. In Baltimore, he would be the #1 receiver immediately. While I don’t believe AB is too upset about being the third option in Tampa, I’m sure he’d love to be the #1 option on a contending team.
The interest could be there on both sides. For the Ravens, Brown is talented, cheap, hardworking, and focused on winning. For Brown, the Ravens are young and will contend in 2021 and beyond. There isn’t a reason why the Ravens shouldn’t heavily pursue Antonio Brown, especially with the current state of their wide receiver group and the receiver market.