Antonio Brown, unsurprisingly, has ignited a ruckus in the Oakland Raiders camp after whimpering to team officials that he will refuse to step foot on the gridiron without his precious helmet. Brown has another thing coming if he believes that he holds leverage in this snafu. He is a 31-year old wide receiver; compared to the league’s elite receivers such as Michael Thomas(25), DeAndre Hopkins(27), and Tyreek Hill(24), Brown is a grandfather. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, “Antonio Brown believes the new helmet that the rules mandate he wears protrudes out and interferes with his vision as he tries to catch the football. The Raiders have been sending Brown other approved helmets to try out but, at this time, he is not interested in wearing any of them”. Luckily for the Raiders, it takes 52 men to win a Super Bowl, not one child. Tyrell Williams will suffice as a number one option for Derek Carr and rookie, Hunter Renfrow, will significantly contribute parallel to Williams. Rookie running back, Josh Jacobs has 1,000+ rushing-yard potential, which should help out the receiving core even more. Brown’s potential absence will further prove that wide receivers are expendable in football.
In the last ten seasons, only three wide receivers that finished in the top ten for yards were members of that year’s Super Bowl champion squad: Greg Jennings(2010), Victor Cruz(2011), Demaryius Thomas(2015). Performances from wide receivers vary from game to game. Does any NFL fan, minus Seattle Seahawks fans, remember the name Chris Matthews? No? I do not blame you because he is now in the CFL. Antonio Brown is another addition to the outlandish reality shows that receivers and defensive backs have put on in recent years. Players like Jalen Ramsey, Odell Beckham Jr., and Josh Norman run their mouths and are entertaining for media scrums have yet to outweigh their off-field antics with their on-field contributions. As defense affects win-loss outcomes more than offense, the wide receiver is the most expendable of the 22 on-field positions. Teams carry eight to nine receivers on a single 52-man roster at a time, while other positions only carry two to three for the majority of the league. For receivers, it is always next man up. The player that is two positions below you on the depth chart still has the potential to have as good, if not better game than you, with one catch. With the pretentious threat of Antonio Brown’s absence from the Oakland Raiders, the Raiders will prove Brown’s extinction to be beneficial in the long-run.