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The Pioneer

Antonio Brown brings power to Raiders

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Antonio Brown brings power to Raiders

PHOTO BYPAULA LIVELY/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BYPAULA LIVELY/WIKICOMMONS

PHOTO BYPAULA LIVELY/WIKICOMMONS

By TJ Porreca, MANAGING EDITOR

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The Oakland Raiders now have the type of star that sells tickets and draws national media attention with every sound bite he gives.
On Wednesday, Oakland’s acquisition of superstar receiver Antonio Brown became official. The Raiders agreed to a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers late last week, but the deal could not be consummated prior to March 13, when the new league year opened.
The Raiders sent Pittsburgh a third-round draft pick and a fifth-round draft pick in exchange for Brown, the best receiver in football. Once the trade compensation was agreed upon, the Raiders also signed Brown to a new contract.
Brown agreed to a three-year deal with the Raiders, worth $30 million in guaranteed money, according to ProFootballTalk. Brown has the opportunity to earn a total of $50.125 million, with the rest in incentives.
By acquiring Brown, head coach Jon Gruden brings the Raiders arguably the team’s most notable player since Randy Moss in 2006.
Brown is the most accomplished receiver in the NFL, and his career trajectory has him on pace to land in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Brown has surpassed 1,000 yards receiving in seven of his nine NFL seasons, according to Pro Football Reference. Since 2005, the Raiders have had just two receivers accomplish the same feat: Moss in 2005, and Amari Cooper in 2015.
A seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, Brown led the NFL in receptions in 2014 and 2015. He also led the league in touchdowns in 2018, with 15. The Raiders, in comparison, had just 18 receiving touchdowns as a team in 2018. The team-leader, Jared Cook, had just six, according to ESPN.
Brown will lead a revamped Raiders offense alongside quarterback Derek Carr. A close bond between the two will be crucial, as Brown will need the ball in his hands more often than any player on the Raiders last year. Brown had the ball thrown to him 168 times in 2018, while Cook led the Raiders with only 101 targets, according to ProFootballReference.
But as the Raiders may come to learn, Brown can be as unpredictable as he is talented. Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh after he was unhappy with his previous contract and circumstances surrounding the team. In Pittsburgh’s final game of the season, Brown sat out, despite the fact that he was healthy to play.
However, with a new lucrative contract in place, Brown should be able to focus on football as the Raiders try to rebound off of their 4-12 season in 2018.

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Antonio Brown brings power to Raiders