As we inch closer towards the start of the regular season, there will be more and more talk centered around free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown. While he was recently suspended for the first eight games of 2020 for violating the league's personal conduct policy, his playmaking ability is something that could help any team make a late-season push or even a run at a Lombardi Trophy. During a recent interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, former Los Angeles Rams wideout Isaac Bruce said that he believes Sean McVay should seriously consider signing or at least working out the Pro Bowl receiver.
"Absolutely," Bruce responded when asked if the Rams should pursue Brown. "I mean, you're talking about one of the premier wide receivers from the past decade that we have, a guy that was very productive and a guy that has started to make the 180-degree turn that's required to be a part of this team -- which I feel he wants to be. We've done some things in the past, reached out and got guys that other people thought were controversial and brought them in the fold. I think (general manager) Les Snead should reach out, see the interest, and bring him in at least for a workout.
"He's a hard-worker, great work ethic, he's very productive like I mentioned, and I think he'll challenge the people in his room and take the Rams to a different level."
There's a good reason teams have kept their distance from Brown up to this point. He has another hearing in a civil suit related to sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations scheduled for Sept. 15, according to NFL Network, which falls just after Week 1. The former Pittsburgh Steelers standout would be eligible to participate in training camp if he found a team ahead of the 2020 season, per Tom Pelissero, but his eight-game suspension will go into effect on Sept. 5, the date of the final roster cut-down. There's also a chance the suspension could be extended, "if further violations are found related" to the ongoing lawsuit.
So why exactly does anyone have reason to believe Brown has changed? Bruce says what has happened to him over the past year should be enough to make anyone reconsider their past decisions and attempt to make amends.
"I think football has probably been a part of his life since his youth," said Bruce. "Just to have that taken away from him, that tends to make a person sit down and just reflect on career choices, life choices and just the results and the fruit that you bore. So, I think from that standpoint anybody being in their right mind can make the life adjustments to do something that they love to do."
While the Rams are just a couple of years removed from making a Super Bowl appearance, they failed to make the playoffs last season and parted ways with Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks this offseason. Additionally, quarterback Jared Goff saw his play dip last season, which is troubling considering he signed a lucrative extension not long ago. Los Angeles picked up some intriguing weapons in the 2020 NFL Draft, but bringing in Brown would surely improve this offensive attack.