If you were the Lions GM, would you make a reasonable offer to the Steelers?
On Friday, Ryan Mathews broke down everything you need to know about what a potential Detroit Lions trade for Antonio Brown would look like—from how much in cap space it would cost the Lions for the next few years, to what he would do for Detroit’s roster, to the trade compensation it may require to get Brown.
Obviously, there were a lot of heated comments on the story. As of writing this, there are 175 comments debating the merits of trading for Brown and how much you pay to get him in Detroit. Some are scared off completely by the drama happening in Pittsburgh and his age. Others see the top-tier talent and a rare opportunity to grab that and think it’s worth any potential risks. Others have debated the value of trading away future assets to get a guy like Brown.
But I’d like to get some data on this, so today’s Question of the Day is:
Would you be open to the Lions trading for Antonio Brown?
My answer: Let’s be clear here, I’m talking about realistic trade options. If you’re only willing to give up a fourth-round pick to get Antonio Brown, you are not open to trading for him.
Anyways, I am absolutely open to the idea of getting him. Normally, I’m not one to promote going for the hottest skill-position player on the market—I hated (and still hate) the idea of going for Le’Veon Bell—but this seems like one of the most rare opportunities the Lions have to get literally the best receiver in the league at a reasonable price. His cap hits would range from $12 to $15 million over the next three years, which is actually comparable to what many are expecting a guy like Golden Tate to get on market.
Obviously the draft compensation is the biggest hurdle, but as I said on Twitter on Friday, I think I’d be willing to give up the Lions’ eighth overall pick for Brown. Some believe that would be enough . Others don’t . I just wouldn’t go any further than that. Brown is a premier talent that could help immediately turn around the Lions offense in a way that no other offseason addition could. And, yes, I think that could make the Lions instant competitors in the NFC North with another key addition or two.
As for the drama, it’s certainly a concern, and it’s likely the reason Detroit doesn’t pursue this. We’ve seen how strict this coaching staff can be, and that’s not likely to mesh well with someone like Brown. That being said, I’d like to think a good coaching staff can handle all personalities, and Brown’s “toxic attitude” is being a little overplayed here. The man and the Steelers had been working in harmony for eight years prior to this, and I’m not going to discount the player after the relationship went sour.
There are definitely risks, and I get the hesitation, but the talent is too good and the salary cap price is too reasonable for me to not at least make a somewhat reasonable offer to Pittsburgh.