The Arizona Cardinals were the worst team in the NFL in 2018.
That alone seems like that makes them an illogical destination for a disgruntled superstar.
Now, they have a young quarterback, a first time head coach and a team looking like they’re on the front end of a rebuild.
Which makes the prospects of a player like Antonio Brown seem not to make a lick of sense.
However, if you ask the odds makers, they think that the Arizona Cardinals are the most likely destination for Antonio Brown come opening day 2019 for the NFL.
According to BetOnline (www.BetOnline.ag, Twitter: @betonline_ag):
What team will Antonio Brown Play for in Game 1 2019 NFL Regular Season?
Arizona Cardinals 9/2
Miami Dolphins 11/2
Oakland Raiders 7/1
Cleveland Browns 12/1
New York Jets 12/1
Pittsburgh Steelers 12/1
Washington Redskins 12/1
Buffalo Bills 20/1
Baltimore Ravens 20/1
Dallas Cowboys 20/1
New England Patriots 25/1
The Arizona Cardinals are the odds on favorites for the services of Brown in 2019.
I talked a bit about this yesterday, but from the standpoint of getting talent on the roster in the Josh Rosen rookie deal era, it makes perfect sense. There’s not a single wide receiver in the 2019 NFL Draft will be as good over the next three years as Brown, so going “all in” in this three year stretch makes sense.
Those who disagree point not to Brown’s on field abilities, but instead his presence in the locker room and his potential negative impact on Josh Rosen and the Cardinals. While that certainly should be taken into consideration, if the Cardinals locker room and quarterback is that fragile that they can’t use the talent of Brown, then they were unlikely to be successful moving forward anyways.
Getting a talent like Brown for this three year window, which coincides with Brown’s remaining contract, would give the Cardinals a good chance to be back in the hunt sooner, rather than later.
Stocking a depleted wide receiver room with an All Pro immediately would boost that position group and it make the need for a wide receiver the next two years much less.
Now, obviously the compensation for Brown to the Steelers has to make sense, but I maintain even the 33rd pick in the draft would not see the on the field impact Brown would provide over the next 2-3 seasons, so if that’s the cost in doing business, it would make sense.
We’ll see where Brown ends up, but for now, the Cardinals are the favorites.