Jon Gruden refuses to say if Raiders has contacted Steelers about Antonio Brown, but does not close the door to trade


The Oakland Raiders do not have a WR1-rated receiver on their list, but they have a huge amount of venture capital after trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, two qualifications that automatically make it an ideal candidate for Antonio Brown in light of their needs. for a catcher and his commercial ammunition – even though the presence of an excellent 30-year-old receiver would probably not be enough for the Raiders to make the jump from bad to good.

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It is therefore not surprising to hear that on Thursday at the combine, in addition to being bombarded by questions about Derek Carr, the quarterback in this year's draft class and the September Mack trade, Gruden was asked about the level of interest of the Raiders for Brown. Nor should we be surprised to learn that Gruden did not answer clearly by yes or no.

Gruden refused to say if the Raiders wanted Brown, but he also did not deny that they might be interested.

"Well, I do not like veteran players, so I'm going to stop there," he said with a smile, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. "I'm not going to speculate on anyone, we're going to look at every possible vehicle, and certainly the financial side of every acquisition has to be taken into account, but we're going to look at the availability of each and what we think is best for our business. " team."

Gruden was then asked if the Raiders were one of the three teams who contacted the Steelers about Brown.

"I do not know," he says. "I have no comments on that, I will not take cheese with that one."

Gruden might not have talked much, but his comments were still telling, because if the Raiders had not contacted the Steelers, he could have said it. In other words, if Gruden – who also expressed frustration with the way the media "will write what they want" about something completely different – did not want to be bothered by the Journalists about a possible Brown trade, he could "I just said that they were out." Instead, he chose to neither confirm nor deny the rumors, which in itself is telling .

Obviously, Gruden joked that he did not like veteran players. The age of Brown (he will be 31 years old at the beginning of the season) will probably not bother Gruden, who spent his first season in charge of the Raiders signature guys like Doug Martin, Reggie Nelson (re-signed) and Jordy Nelson.

As mentioned by Gruden, the problem could be the money. Brown has reached a cap of more than $ 22 million in 2019, more than $ 18 million in 2020 and more than $ 19.5 million in 2021. The Raiders would not be forced to spend all that money – as explained here by USA Today & # 39; s For the win – but Brown said that he would not play without more money guaranteed.

So, in theory, whoever negotiates it might also have to give him more money. It is important. Like Joel Corry, former sports agent, written for CBS Sports:

Brown asking that his contract be dealt with complicates matters. He may be as big, if not bigger, than Brown's lookalike. Brown did not specify his financial requirements. Insisting that the rest of Brown's contract be fully guaranteed when his compensation is adjusted to reflect the changes in the broad-receiver market since his last signing would not be surprising.

The current standard is a $ 90 million, five-year extension of Odell Beckham Jr. (worth up to $ 95 million through salary indicators) that he received. Giants during the pre-season. Beckham's global guarantees, worth $ 65 million, constitute the largest contract ever signed with a receiver. $ 40.959 million was fully secured at the signing. Mike Evans' five-year extension with the Buccaneers last March, averaging $ 16.5 million a year, is the best three-year cash flow from a broad-based pay-per-view contract. $ 55.008 million.

Do the Raiders really want to pay Brown all that money? They exchanged Mack in September because they did not want to give him the monster contract he wanted. Mack's contract with the Bears eventually exceeded Brown's salary (Mack averages $ 23.5 million per season), but Mack is also younger and plays a bigger role. A superstar pass can make the difference on a Super Bowl competitor. Superstar receivers do not often make that difference.

And that brings us to the last piece of the puzzle. After a season 4 to 12 that allowed them to exchange two winning coins in Mack and Cooper, would the Raiders really trade against a 30-year-old expensive receiver?

At this point, with their move to Las Vegas looming, the Raiders seem to be at the beginning of the rebuilding. By the time the reconstruction is complete, Brown would probably have exceeded his peak. Again, looking at things differently, if the Raiders turned the No. 27 pick that they had acquired Cowboys from cooper tradein Brown, they essentially transformed Amari Cooper into Antonio Brown. Aside from age and money, this would represent a substantial improvement in talent. But teams do not just consider talent when evaluating staff movements. Money and age are just as important.

Given the quality of the Raiders 'list and the Raiders' number of repechage, they will likely remain in the rumor until Brown is finally traded – assuming that the situation ends as well. It certainly seems to be going in that direction. But the Raiders will not be the only team in the mix for Brown. If they want it, they will have to win the contest.

This message has been updated to include Brown 's contract share which the Raiders would be responsible for and Brown' s claim for money guaranteed.

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