Should the Houston Texans have interest in Antonio Brown?

Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
Antonio Brown #84 of the Pittsburgh Steelers (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /

Rumors are floating around in July about the Houston Texans and Antonio Brown.

There is one wide receiver free agent that some are saying the Houston Texans might be interested in. That player is Antonio Brown, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots.

Brown has had his off-the-field issues and his on-the-field issues while a member of all three of those teams, and many of us who watched “Hard Knocks” when it featured the Raiders saw those issues happen on a week-by-week basis.

Brown didn’t have a great departure when he left the Steelers, then things with the Raiders didn’t fare well either. When he joined the Patriots, Brown played well in his short time there, but his off-the-field issues occurred and he was quickly asked to leave that franchise as well.

Now with most of that behind him, Brown’s journey back to an NFL roster has seen him work out with Russell Wilson recently, and even Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson — who saw his All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins be traded this offseason — threw out a quiet hint as to if the Texans should be interested with the following tweet in response to a tweet made by Chad Johnson:

If there is a team in the NFL who has been known to give veterans a chance to shine once again as a member of an NFL franchise, it is the Texans. At times it has gone very well when Tyrann Mathieu joined the Texans for the 2018 season, and at times it hasn’t, including the short time Ed Reed spent on the Houston Texans roster.

It is easy to see why Deshaun Watson would be interested in seeing Antonio Brown be a member of the Texans’ wide receiver depth chart. When Brown is at the top of his game, there are very few who are better, and his numbers in Pittsburgh back that up.

As a member of the Steelers from 2010-18, Brown played in 103 games with that storied franchise, collecting 837 receptions for 11,207 yards and 74 career touchdowns. Brown played in one game for the Patriots last season, and there in one game he caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown with Tom Brady as his quarterback. Brown never played a regular-season game with the Raiders, so that tells you about how well that went.

Currently, the Texans’ wide receivers include Brandin Cooks, Will Fuller, Kenny Stills, Randall Cobb, DeAndre Carter and Keke Coutee, to name the main players on that position depth chart. Cooks and Cobb are entering their first year with the franchise, and Fuller is coming off an injury, while Stills has played just one season with the Texans.

Houston Texans News: Antonio Brown would brings lots of attention

The question for Deshaun Watson and the Houston Texans when it comes to Brown is do they want all of the media attention and all the off-the-field things that come with having Brown on their roster, as was shown in “Hard Knocks” with the Raiders last year?

Don’t get me wrong, if the Houston Texans were to get the player Antonio Brown was in 2017 — a season where he caught 101 passes for 1,533 yards and nine touchdowns — or the player he was in 2018 when Brown caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns, then that is a player worth taking a shot on.

But if the Texans were to get the 2019 version of Antonio Brown, who was making way more headlines away from the games than the actual games themselves, it is doubtful he and general manager/head coach Bill O’Brien would be on the same page then.

Again, when at the top of his game, Brown is one of the very best wide receivers in the NFL, but also looking at the way his tenure ended with the Steelers came to a close in ’18, and everything that was  the ’19 season, would the Houston Texans be willing to take a chance on Antonio Brown?

The Texans would need him now more than before since they don’t have the All-Pro Hopkins anymore, but a contract to Antonio Brown would be far from having lucrative guarantees in the contract. Rather, at least for the 2020 season, a contract would be more incentive-based, right?

Next. Texans News: Brandin Cooks 2nd in unique wide receiver stat. dark

Any team who adds Antonio Brown to their roster — and there will be a team who does so — will be putting their media relations team to work, but if he’s all organized off the field and all is good there, there is no reason for the Texans to not take a look at Antonio Brown, right?

Once all is said and done, the Texans will have to ask themselves: Does the risk outweigh the reward? Only O’Brien, Watson and the Texans can answer that question.