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Don’t call All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown A.B. anymore, call him “Mr. Big Chest,” he requests, and don’t call him a Pittsburgh Steeler anymore either, call him an Oakland Raider now that his long-anticipated trade finally came through.
It’s being reported by ESPN that A.B., sorry, that Mr. Big Chest has been traded to the Las Vegas-bound Raiders and it’s being called “a great fit” by his agent.
We take a look at Brown’s new deal, his new team, whether his prop bets paid off and how this trade to Oakland has actually shifted the Raiders’ chances to win the next Super Bowl.
We’ve talked a lot about Antonio Brown in the last couple of months, the 30-year-old wide receiver originally from Miami, FL who has been a Pittsburgh Steeler since 2010.
Brown is a 7x Pro Bowler, a 4x First-team All-Pro and Second-team All-Pro deep threat receiver who has led the league in receiving yards and receptions twice and in touchdowns once.
When you take a look at his career numbers (so far) – 837 receptions, 11,207 total receiving yards, 74 receiving touchdowns, plus 2,932 total return yards and five return touchdowns – it’s tough to argue that Mr. Big Chest isn’t one of the top receivers currently in the NFL.
Long story short, Brown wasn’t getting the ‘love’ he was used to getting as a Pittsburgh Steeler, from his teammates to the front office, he felt his talents were being underappreciated despite him being at the peak of his game.
A.B. was especially offended when his quarterback, veteran future-hall-of-famer Ben Roethlisberger, called him out to the media for running inconsistent routes, and when one writer tweeted that he should be grateful for Big Ben, A.B. replied, “trade me let’s find out.”
But Brown’s behavior eventually went beyond the dramatic and became unprofessional, including showing up late or even missing team meetings and creating sideline scenes that the media ate up and showed over and over again, and head coach Mike Tomlin seemed incapable (or unwilling) to put a stop to it.
But given how much money Brown’s most recent contract cost the Steelers, the trade deal that was made has surprised a lot of football experts for how little the team got for their superstar.
According to the source that broke the story, Brown will receive a new three-year deal worth up to $54.125 million from the Raiders, with $30.125 million guaranteed.
Before the deal was made, Brown had three years and $38.9 million left on his contract with the Steelers, with none of the money guaranteed.
The Pittsburgh Steelers, in return, received a third- and fifth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Bottom line, this deal made Brown money – he went from three years remaining on a four-year extension at $17 million a year to three years now at $19.8 million, but with a lot of the money guaranteed this time, unlike in his deal with the Steelers.
Besides the huge cost of losing one of the best receivers in the NFL right now, it costs them in cash and cap space.
They will reportedly now eat $21.1 million in dead money on their 2019 cap while the man who just ate up about eleven percent of your total $188.2 million cap space is playing for a different team.
Typically, that only happens when the player has either broken the law or was the prior head coach’s guy, neither of which applies to Brown’s situation.
After next season, the Oakland Raiders are moving to Las Vegas, so getting one of the best receivers in the NFL right now is a smart way to create excitement about the team’s potential.
The Raiders definitely needed a deep threat receiver, but they need a lot more than that, like an edge defender, a cornerback, a running back, another wider receiver and more, so they’re a long way to go from competing for any postseason spots just yet.
General manager Mike Maycock and head coach (the $100 million man) Jon Gruden will be using the upcoming draft, where they have eight remaining picks (including three in the first round) and free agency to bolster their roster for a better 2019 run than they had last season.
Certainly not for a quick Super Bowl win, otherwise he would have stayed with the Steelers or at least held out for a deal with a team more put together than the Raiders are right now.
But Brown will become the immediate superstar on that team, which will come with the kind of fan and teammate attention he craves, and when you add that to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas living then it’s easy to see why Brown’s agent sees it as a great fit.
Some football experts are speculating that the Raiders will also be vying for Kyler Murray, the two-sport phenom who’s been heads since he turned down a $5 million contract with the Oakland A’s, which would make their curb appeal in Vegas all the more desirable.
No, in fact when we first began talking about this story in the article Where Will Antonio Brown Go If He Leaves the Steelers?, the Oakland Raiders weren’t even listed in the odds release.
By the time we covered all the prop bets that were emerging based on this story (see below), the Raiders had made the list, but their odds were listed at a very distant +2000.
The odds on favorite at that time were the San Francisco 49ers, who were listed at +250, and that was based on the fact that Brown posted photoshopped pictures of himself in a 49ers jersey to his social media accounts back in January.
We just covered the Top 5 Antonio Brown Prop Bets: Odds and Predictions and now that his trade has been made final, the results are in:
Caveat: For this bet to be valid, Brown must be traded before Week 1 of the 2019 regular season.
Caveat: Brown must be on the Steelers roster in Week 1.
The winner: Oakland Raiders +2000
The Brown-to-Oakland trade has improved the Raider’s Super Bowl odds, although not to the point where many people are going to want to put real money down on it just yet.
For instance, before the trade, the oddsmakers at Westgate had the Raiders’ Super Bowl odds listed at 100-1 and their odds to win the AFC at 50-1.
After the trade, they shifted the odds to 80-1 for the Super Bowl and 40-1 to win the AFC.
And following suit was MGM Resorts, who moved the Raider’s Super Bowl odds from 80-1 to 60-1 and Caesar’s Entertainment moved them from 75-1 to 50-1.
At William Hill, Oakland’s Super Bowl odds are 75-1 and its AFC odds are 35-1.
At Westgate, Pittsburgh’s odds to win the Super Bowl also shifted after the Brown-to-Oakland trade – from 20-1 to 25-1.
Not bad, Mr. Big Chest.
Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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