Antonio Brown

USA Today

A Vegas Star

What a moment for Raider fans.

March 11, 2019 - 11:59 am
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When the news of the deal to send Antonio Brown to Oakland broke, something else broke – just about every server and web platform connected to Raider fans. Raider Mike and his crew had to be hammering the message boards over the weekend. 

Holy freaking crap. 

What a moment for Raider fans. Never mind, that as of late last week, it still wasn’t one hundred percent clear where they would be playing their home games this season, who cares about that. Because wherever they are playing them, they’ll be doing it with Antonio Brown as their wide receiver. 

The Oakland Raiders or the Santa Clara Raiders or the San Antonio Raiders or whoever they’re going to be this season, just got their dude. And they needed him.  

Adam Schefter tweeted that the Raiders haven’t had a receiver break 1,200 yards since Jerry Rice in 2002. Peek all of the insanity in that tweet. How the hell is it possible that Oakland hasn’t had a 1,200 yard receiver since 2002? And how is it that Jerry Rice had 1,200 yards at the age of 40?!?

But still, as mind-blowing as it is that Oakland hasn’t had a 1,200 yard receiver since Nelly had a hit with “Hot in Here,” they now have a guy who puts up 1,200 yard seasons in his sleep. And they got him for nothing. 

Before that trade, they were looking at a receiving corps that included an aging Jordy Nelson, Marcell Ateman, and Derek Carrier. In other words, they weren’t looking to break that 1,200 yard drought anytime soon. The three of them combined probably weren’t going to break 1,200 yards next season. 

And now they just got a guy who had just under 1,300 yards last year, and it was considered a down year.

And it means that Derek Carr now actually has a legitimate target other than tight end Jared Cook. And it means that Jon Gruden and the Raiders can really figure out what they have in Carr. 

And it gives them a star to market when they get to Las Vegas. They need somebody to put on billboards and sell tickets. Jon Gruden can do some of that, but if you want to move jerseys, how many people are buying Raider jerseys with Gruden on the back? 

So I get the move from a star power, standpoint. You need a superstar in a new city when there are season tickets to be sold. And Brown is that star. 

So, I like the move Raider fan. I do. But I do have some questions, starting with, what exactly is the plan?

Before last season started, they traded Khalil Mack and then during the season they traded Amari Cooper. And they got first round picks for both guys. Trading guys in their 20s for first round picks and clearing cap space sounds like you’re rebuilding. It looked like a teardown. But now, trading for a soon-to-be 31 year old wide receiver sounds like you want to win right. Now. So which is it?

And did anyone see anything last season that made you think the Raiders were ready to win now?

Again, Brown isn’t over the hill. But he’s also not exactly consistent with a rebuilding formula. And there is a reason why you were able to get him for as little as you did. Which raises another question – exactly how is this going to go for Brown in Oakland? Is everything going to be cool now that he’s gotten out of Pittsburgh and gotten paid? Or will there be friction? Because it’s not like the head coach has a history of avoiding friction with players. Especially wide receivers: i.e. Chuckie and Keyshawn Johnson back in the day.

So again, what’s the plan? Do they even have one? And if they do, how many times is it going to change?

Sure, you needed a star to go to Vegas with, but you had that in a future hall of famer in Mack.  And you needed a number one receiver but you arguably had that in Amari Cooper, who is younger than Brown, without all the baggage. And sure, it’s all love between Brown and Gruden now, but what it’s going to be like if the Raiders don’t get this thing turned around quickly. And while Derek Carr is going to be helluva lot easier to deal with then Roethlisberger, is Brown going to turn on him too if Carr isn’t what Brown thinks he is; or doesn’t get the targets he wants. 

I like the move, but there is a yeah but… aspect to it. And there’s a reason why they were able to get Brown for next to nothing. And I would like to know what the hell Gruden’s plan is; if in fact, he has one at all. 

RAIDER FAN, WHERE YOU AT? Is the Autumn Wind blowing? Is Raider Nation back? Are you excited to see "BIG CHEST" wearing the Silver and Black? Or are you like me and do you need to wait and see.