With rumors of the Baltimore Ravens no longer actively pursuing this former Pro Bowler, should the Chicago Bears be interested?
If you follow social media, it did not take long for many Chicago Bears fans to jump on the Antonio Brown bandwagon for 2020. The rumors have been circulating for a while how the Baltimore Ravens actively pursuing Antonio Brown. Now that those rumors have been put to bed, the Seattle Seahawks are the hot team surrounding Brown rumors.
Although no reputable source has linked Antonio Brown to the Chicago Bears, it has not stopped many on social media from clamoring for his services anyway. If you cannot see the likes and re-tweets, the current likes are 313 and the re-tweets are only 65. Yep, fans seem to want Brown.
I mean, why wouldn’t you want a seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver on your team? Why would you not want a wide receiver who has averaged nearly eight touchdowns per season over his 10-year career? How about a receiver who has averaged 1,126 yards per season despite seasons of only 167 and 56 yards.
If we break it down by game, Brown has been a machine. Brown averaged a touchdown every other game and 86 yards per game. When mentally healthy, Brown is a dominant force that not many other receivers have been able to replicate. So why are these fans wrong to want Brown on the Bears roster?
Why signing Antonio Brown would be a mistake for the Chicago Bears
Here is the thing. Put the stats aside for a minute. Think about the players and the chemistry in the Chicago Bears locker room. Most teams in the Bears’ situation last year would have imploded. However, Matt Nagy kept that locker room strong and together. Adding a player like Antonio Brown would ruin that type of chemistry. The traits and advantages he brings to the field are not enough to account for the downside he brings to the locker room and teammates off the field.
When the New England Patriots give you a chance and you blow that chance, I do not see how he comes back from that mishandling. Furthermore, Brown is entering the 2020 season at the age of 32 years old. This does not mean his play will have diminished but getting older does not help. Brown only played one game in 2019 after leading the NFL in touchdown receptions (15) in 2018.
Now comes the nail in the coffin. Right now, if Brown were to be reinstated, he will likely be facing multiple suspensions adding up to multiple games. The number of games is unknown at this time, but with allegations of rape and assault, an incident involving the damage of a moving truck and the driver and finally an outburst with police caught on video, it would seem the suspension would be very lengthy.
Adding a player like Brown comes with a high level of risk. The payoff might be worth the trouble, but the downside of adding an off-the-field mess like Brown could spread like a rapid-fire through a team’s locker room and dismantle any chances for a successful season. Signing Brown to a contract in Chicago no matter how sexy the idea seems to pair him with Allen Robinson would be a major mistake and I hope Ryan Pace is not even considering the option.