The “Big Chest” saga ends, or at least enters a new phase, with the trade of Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders. They traded their third- and fifth-round picks for the star wideout and gave him a new contract. Brown was due $38.95 million over the next three years and now will receive $50.125 million with $30 million guaranteed. The Raiders received the star wideout they needed to replace Amari Cooper and Brown ends up with all of his demands met.
Where this goes will be fascinating given that the soon-to-be 31-year-old Brown not only ranks No. 35 all-time in touchdown catches (74), but he’s never scored without Ben Roethlisberger throwing the pass. Brown also ranks No. 34 in receiving yardage (11,207) but all but 28 receptions for 381 yards also came with Roethlisberger who himself ranks No. 7 in touchdowns (363) and No. 6 in passing yards (56,194).
He trades Big Ben for Derek Carr (assuming no more trades or draft picks to refresh the quarterback). Carr enters his sixth NFL season coming off a career-best 4,049 yards in 2018. By comparison, Roethlisberger passed for 5,129 yards and 34 touchdowns last year. Carr has never ranked better than No. 14 in fantasy points among quarterbacks but he’s also never had a talent like Brown.
Brown shared the limelight with JuJu Smith-Schuster last year but there’s nothing remotely close in talent to Brown on the Raiders current roster. He should be in line for a huge workload but may not have any complement on the team to cause any concern from the opposing secondary. He’ll see at least as much coverage and likely even more while fielding targets from Carr.
Certainly Brown makes a splash move by the Raiders who need give fans a reason to fill the seats this season and when they move to Las Vegas. The former sixth-round pick fell in the 2010 draft because of his size (5-10, 186 pounds) and level of competition at Central Michigan. He was termed a “one-cut” receiver that vastly exceeded all expectations with talent, intense dedication, and an accommodating offense.
He has every bit the talent and continues to be a legendary hard worker. He has to prove that Derek Carr and the Raiders offense can still offer him the opportunity and environment to maintain his elite level of play.