Report: Russell Wilson Still Wants Seahawks to Sign Antonio Brown
Set to apply for reinstatement from the NFL, there's been much speculation the Seahawks may re-sign Josh Gordon. But the organization may have sights set on another troubled receiver to appease Russell Wilson.
Per a report from John Clayton of ESPN, Wilson has been quietly recruiting former Steelers All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown to the Pacific Northwest. The two have been friends for some time and the veteran target also has an established relationship with Seahawks backup Geno Smith.
“It’s pretty clear the Seahawks want to run the ball even more this year,” Clayton said. “They have loaded up at tight end and tried to stay big along the offensive line. But it’s not out of the question for the Seahawks to add another wide receiver. According to sources, Wilson would love to add Antonio Brown."
This wouldn't be the first time the Seahawks have been linked to Brown, as the team reportedly kicked the tires on signing him before claiming Gordon off waivers from the Patriots in November 2019.
In regard to talent, Brown has arguably been the best receiver in the NFL for most of the past decade. He made six straight Pro Bowls and earned four First-Team All-Pro selections from 2013 to 2018, catching 686 passes for 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns during that span.
On paper, combining Brown with Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf would give the Seahawks arguably the best trio of receivers in the NFL, so it's easy to see why Wilson would be clamoring for such an arrangement.
But erratic behavior both on and off the field grounded Brown's career last season. Forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, he last only a few months in Oakland before being released by the team after complaining about his helmet and publicly calling out general manager Mike Mayock among other things.
He quickly signed a one-year deal with New England, but the team released him after one game due to numerous allegations against him off the field, including a lawsuit alleging sexual assault and rape. He was also cited for harassment by another female on SI.com and arrested for an incident involving a moving truck driver.
Going unsigned the rest of the season, Brown finished the season with four receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown in one game.
With three Personal Conduct violations being examined by the NFL, Brown won't be able to play for anyone, including Seattle, until those investigations reach a conclusion. At that point, there's still a very good chance he could be facing a lengthy suspension, leaving plenty of uncertainty about when he will actually be able to play.
Seattle has found success meshing unique personalities into the locker room in the past such as running back Marshawn Lynch and defensive end Michael Bennett. General manager John Schneider explores everything and listening to the franchise quarterback typically is a good thing.
Still, given Brown's checkered history, current standing with the league, and other positional needs on the roster, it seems unlikely the Seahawks will go after the mercurial receiver anytime soon. If he's cleared by the league at a later time without a suspension, then a possible signing could be revisited.