5. A fresh start can do wonders (risk/reward)
It can’t be overstated how a fresh start can work wonders for a player (or coach) in the NFL.
Nine years is a long time to spend with one team and one core group of guys, and it’s clear the relationship between Brown and the Steelers just became unhealthy over time.
Wide receivers in the NFL are divas and that’s not something that always needs to be shied away from. They play a glamorous position and the fact that some of them (like Brown) work the spotlight shouldn’t be frowned upon. It’s part of the fun of the game.
If Pittsburgh is simply a toxic environment for Brown then put him in a new city and see if it can work out for a few years.
Even considering his contract (previously discussed) and the reported price to get him (starting at a second-round pick) the risk/reward aspect of this move favors the Broncos significantly.
What player would you get in the second round of the NFL Draft better than Antonio Brown? What players would you spend $12.6 million on better than Brown? Even if you have to compromise and sign some lower-priced free agents at positions like cornerback, the idea of adding Brown to the roster is worth the re-shuffling elsewhere. He’s that good.
The major risk most in Broncos Country seem to be afraid of is that Brown would bring the drama from Pittsburgh to Denver, but that’s highly doubtful. The reason there’s drama in Pittsburgh is because of the people there, not because Brown himself is a problem.
If the Broncos show how much they want him in town by pursuing him, trading for him, and coveting him it would undoubtedly put Brown in a better position mentally. That kind of fresh start and clean slate could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
If Brown is going to be available for trade, the positives vastly outweigh the negatives and the Broncos should absolutely be working out a way to make it happen.