Houston Texans signing Antonio Brown seems far fetched

Houston Texans, Antonio Brown (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Houston Texans, Antonio Brown (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Houston Texans and Antonio Brown pairing would be more complicated than at surface value.

The Houston Texans made waves this past Thursday night after it was revealed they were one of the NFL teams that have made contact with former All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown. A receiver of Brown’s talent typically has no business being unemployed at this juncture of the offseason, but his actions on and off the field placed his NFL future in limbo.

Brown’s antics led to his departure from the Pittsburgh Steelers before he was waived by the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots. Teams were willing to give him a second and third chance before NFL commissioner Roger Goodell decided to put him on the notorious exempt list if a team like the New Orleans Saints were to sign him for the rest of the 2019 season.

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Brown’s off-the-field issues were overwhelming at certain points last season and his propensity to air his feelings on social media made it clear that he had very little regard for preserving relationships with teams he played for in the past.

The potential addition of Brown to the Houston Texans seems to be one that superstar Deshaun Watson would welcome according to Mike Garofolo of NFL Network, but it makes very little sense for the organization. A player of Watson’s standing on the team carries weight, and his voice is influential to the entire organization.

However, head coach and general manager Bill O’Brien would have to sign off any move regarding Houston’s roster.

Normally a general manager has the luxury of signing a talented player with baggage and has their coaching staff deal with the players off the field issues as long as he produces on the day of the game, but O’Brien is also the coach. He would have to deal with Brown in the business and game aspect as the leader in the coaching and front office departments.

If there is one thing that O’Brien doesn’t stand for is for players to be unneeded distractions on the team. O’Brien’s style of managing the team isn’t for every player, and that showed with how Brock Osweiler and DeAndre Hopkins were traded from the Texans.

Both players left under different circumstances, but both didn’t have a glowing relationship, if any, with the Texans head coach. On the field, Brown would make all the sense in the world after the Texans traded an All-Pro receiver of their own in Hopkins, but Brown’s issues could be too unattractive for Houston to deal with.

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The Texans do have a strong support system with a solid mentor in the organization in Jack Easterby, a future Hall of Fame receiver in Andre Johnson in the coaching staff, and a good locker room. However, is that enough from keeping Brown from misbehaving? Is it worth walking down that road if it were to cause the possible departure of one of the starters on the team?

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Brown wouldn’t sign here in Houston to be the second or third option on the offense, and it would seem ludicrous to keep Fuller and Brown as the potential starters since it would mean demoting Brandin Cooks from his projected spot in the starting lineup.

Moving Cooks down the depth chart would make very little sense after the Texans gave up their own 2020 second round to the Los Angeles Rams in order to acquire him. Houston also has a solid third option in Randall Cobb as he is projected to be the Texans’ slot receiver in the offense.

The most logical move if the Houston Texans added Brown would be to trade Fuller for a good player or move him for draft compensation to a team in need of a starting-caliber wide receiver that can also be a deep threat for any offense.

It makes very little sense for the Texans’ front office given all the hurdles they would need to jump through with the start of training camp only a few weeks away on the 28th of July.

Brown is a great player, but he’s looking out in his own best interest when he publishes posts of teams like Houston that could be interested in his services on his social media pages.

He’s doing a masterful execution of marketing by posting workouts with players around the league and teasing fans with the possibility of joining their team. He’s creating interest and driving up his stock. Any quarterback would be crazy not to want a player of his talent on their team, but it’s telling that he’s open to playing almost anywhere now if the money is right.

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A pairing between Houston and Brown seems a lot easier on paper than it is actually going through with it.