Lately the popular notion the has flooded the media is that the Lions ‘must’ trade for Pittsburgh Steelers star receiver Antonio Brown. The idea being that the Lions have become short on talent at the receiver position over the last year and that his talent would change everything for the Lions.
I think the most interesting part of this viewpoint is that the majority of the media pundits who have chosen to stick by this theory are the same ones who have been more concerned about trying to run Matthew Stafford out of town or advocating that running the ball and defense are the only way to win with him.
My point is this; it doesn’t go both ways.
I get that whoever lines up under center needs to have weapons to work with. The offseason mandate that general manager Bob Quinn made last week saying the Lions needed more playmakers is absolutely correct and Antonio Brown is a playmaker.
But Brown is also going to be 31 this next season and is already at the age that players start losing a step. He was also a locker room cancer for the Steelers down the stretch.
Now those are not deal breakers for me. A strong locker room can often handle absorbing players that are disgruntled and as of this moment, Brown is still a viable playmaker. I do, however, wonder if the Lions locker room which is in the process of trying to make a culture change is strong enough to handle Brown if he were unhappy here.
I also wonder that as the Lions try to build the foundation of a championship team that can legitimately have an actual window of opportunity to win a title, if Brown would make the difference needed in the long run.
As of now, he’s still an outstanding player, but unless we expect the Lions to win the Super Bowl next season, it’s a question mark of how much impact he would have on this team beyond next season at age 32 and only getting older.
The Lions definitely need more answers on offense, but on a team that is in the embryonic stages of its development under Bob Quinn and Matt Patricia, it needs more long term answers that short cuts.
No matter how flashy those short cuts may seem to be.