Should the Detroit Lions pursue Antonio Brown for the 2020 season?

Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Antonio Brown, Oakland Raiders (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

Is receiver Antonio Brown someone the Detroit Lions should look at bringing to Motown?

The 2020 season is a big one for the Detroit Lions. It will determine the future path of the team and whether they have what it takes to be a contender or if it’s time to tear things down and start fresh.

With the Lions’ last playoff appearance coming in 2016, and their last playoff win going way back to 1991, all parties involved would like a winning season where the Lions go more than one game deep into the playoffs. As owner Martha Ford said at the end of last season, she expects the Lions to be playing meaningful games this December.

The Lions have some glaring needs, specifically on their defensive line. But why not make a strength on the team even stronger? If the Lions are serious about contending, one free agent they should try and bring in is wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The Lions have a solid receiving corps with Kenny Golladay leading the way as well as Marvin Jones Jr. and Danny Amendola to fill out the starting wide receiver trio. If one of them were to go down with an injury, the Lions would be just fine as they have the likes of Geronimo Allison, rookie Quintez Cephus among others to round out the depth chart. That’s also not mentioning sophomore tight end T.J. Hockenson who showed glimpses of what’s to come.

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Why not make the receiving corps stronger though with the addition of Brown? He’s a four-time first-team All-Pro, has six Pro Bowl appearances, and was the league leader in several statistical categories over the years.

In 2018, Brown had the most receiving touchdown with 15. In 2017, he was the league leader in reception yards (1,533) and average yards per game (109.5). In 2015, Brown had more receptions than any other receiver with 136. And in 2014 he led the league in receptions with 129 and receiving yards with 1,698.

If the Lions were able to bring in Brown, Detroit’s receiving trio would be deathly. They would have two receivers who can exceed 1,000-reception yards and would give the Motor City a star receiver on both sides of quarterback Matthew Stafford.

As the roster is currently structured, opposing defenses would likely line up their top cornerbacks on Golladay. But bringing in Brown would keep defenses guessing and would allow weaker coverage on one of them.

Signing Antonio Brown would give the Detroit Lions a superstar player

While Golladay is a great player, he is not yet a superstar. And the Lions currently don’t have one on their roster. Brown would give the Lions their first superstar player since former wide receiver Calvin Johnson retired.

With Matt Patricia posting a record of 9-22-1 over two years as head coach, this is a make or break year for him and general manager Bob Quinn. I believe that means the Lions must make the playoffs or this duo won’t be brought back for the 2021 season.

In order to keep their jobs, Quinn and Patricia need to bring in the best talent they can get. And Brown is a player that can be a game-changer. The fact that he’s a free agent is an even better scenario for Patricia and Quinn as he wouldn’t cost any draft picks to get.

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Following Antonio Brown’s failed stints with both the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots last year, plus the fact he reportedly remains under investigation by the NFL for multiple off-field issues, it shouldn’t cost a crazy amount to sign him. The Detroit Lions could possibly entice the 31-year old receiver to come to Motown on a one-year prove-it deal. And in return, the Lions could potentially field the most impressive receiver corps in the NFL.