As the Raiders play their first preseason game with receiver Antonio Brown on the roster — and as Brown is nowhere to be seen or even mentioned by the Raiders’ employees broadcasting the game on TV — multiple other NFL teams are likely smiling tonight.
First, and most obviously, the Steelers. While it appeared that the Steelers got the short end of a deal that sent only a third-round and fifth-round pick to Pittsburgh for one of the best receivers in football, it’s currently looking like the Steelers fleeced the Raiders.
Second, the Bills were ready to trade for Brown but Brown wanted nothing to do with the Bills. And the Bills should be popping the bubbly over the fact that Brown isn’t their problem right now.
Third, while a trade between the Steelers and the Browns wasn’t likely, Cleveland has to be feeling pretty good about getting Odell Beckham Jr. instead of Brown. Yes, it required more trade compensation, but the Browns got OBJ’s contract as is with not adjustment (yet), and Beckham has been a model citizen in comparison to Brown, who has continued a pattern of erratic and unpredictable behavior that the Steelers quietly tolerated for years — and that may be approaching critical mass if Brown is serious about not playing if he can’t wear a helmet that can’t be certified for use due to the fact that it’s more than 10 years old.
Fourh, any other team that even pondered the possibility of trading for Brown has to be counting their blessings for not making a serious run at the player. While the current ugliness may pass and Brown may become as good as he ever was, it’s currently looking like the Raiders have made in trading for Brown the mirror image of the mistake they made in trading Khalil Mack last year.