If the Houston Texans do decide to pursue Antonio Brown before training camp starts, franchise quarterback Deshaun Watson certainly won't stand in their way. Responding to a Chad Johnson tweet proclaiming the Texans should pursue Brown, Watson didn't hesitate to express his opinion on a potential new No. 1 wide receiver.
The Texans front office, and head coach/general manager Bill O'Brien, haven't discussed any interest in signing Brown -- but Watson's actions speak volumes. Houston did trade Watson's prior No. 1 target in DeAndre Hopkins and took on running back David Johnson's albatross contract (still one of the most bizarre moves over the past few seasons). The Texans did their best to restock the wide receiver position, adding Randall Cobb in free agency and acquiring Brandin Cooks in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams.
Currently, Houston's top four five receivers are Cobb, Cooks, Kenny Stills, Will Fuller, and Keke Coutee. The group is legitimate, but could use a No. 1 presence to elevate Houston towards the top of the AFC.
This is where Brown comes in.
Prior to joining the New England Patriots for his one game in 2019, Brown averaged 114 catches from 2013 to 2018, leading the NFL in receptions twice. He totaled 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns, averaging 13.3 yards per catch during that span. Brown recorded the most catches (690), touchdowns (68), and the second-most receiving yards (9,201) over the last seven seasons despite playing just one game last year.
Bottom line: Any team's offense is immensely improved by adding Brown this summer. Part of the package comes with controversy that still hasn't been resolved.
Brown was recently sentenced a two-year probation after pleading no contest in his moving truck driver battery case earlier this year, the only off-field news he has made over the past several months as he attempts to get back into the NFL. He is still under investigation by the league following his inclusion in a 2019 civil suit from a woman accusing him of sexual misconduct and rape. Part of the reason Brown is still a free agent is because he will likely placed on the commissioner's exempt list if he is signed by any team.
If the Texans wish to add Brown, they will have competition for his services. Brown posted a video of himself catching passes from Russell Wilson earlier in the week, indicating the Seattle Seahawks may be interested in adding him.
With Watson's influence, perhaps the Texans enter the sweepstakes.