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Antonio Brown expected to be paid well upon NFL return

NFL: New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last month, NFL Network’s Michael Silver caused a stir among Seahawks observers by reporting Seattle, as well as the Ravens, had held internal discussions surrounding the possibility of signing wide receiver Antonio Brown.

For some, the possibility of signing quite possibly the most talented wide receiver of his generation for what would presumably be a low-cost was a no-brainer. For others, Brown’s long-list of off-field issues ranging from concerning to horrific made it a non-starter.

Strengthening the case against Brown was the looming presence of Josh Gordon, who applied for reinstatement in June, would only be facing a two-week suspension upon reinstatement—while the expectation is Brown is facing an 8-10 game ban at some point—and should come at a cheaper cost while being far less likely to cause friction in the locker room.

Speaking on Monday’s Around The NFL podcast, NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo provided extra information which should further dissuade Seattle from pursuing Brown. Specifically, Garafolo discussed the likelihood of Brown being paid well, upon return:

“From what I gather there are other teams involved right now that would make it, at least for Antonio Brown, if they were confident in the off the field stuff, would probably make it more worth his while monetarily,” Garafolo said. The NFL Network insider added when asked if he believes there are teams out there who will pay Brown decent money, “Yeah, I do.”

Though Gordon will be an unrestricted free agent upon return, it’s unlikely he commands much at all, even on the open market. At 29, Gordon dealt with injuries last year, then of course there is the unfortunate possibility a failed drug test could lead to another indefinite suspension.

Brown, meanwhile, would likely return to the conversation surrounding the best wide receiver in the league should he return and stay on the field—and it appears he could be paid in a manner that resembles that status.

While neither option is risk-free, every indication Gordon would prove to be the safer and cheaper option. For the Seahawks, the latter factor should make it an easy choice.