Antonio Brown worked out with the Saints on Friday morning. All signs indicate that the Saints will not sign him despite a successful workout. His eligibility to play is also in question due to an ongoing lawsuit involving his former personal trainer. Nonetheless, we’d like to consider how dangerous a Saints and Antonio Brown marriage would be.
The Saints have not struggled this year with their passing attack, but their Wide Receiver depth is becoming a bit thin as Austin Carr, Kirshawn Hogan, and Keith Kirkwood are all on IR. Headlining their active WR corps is Tre’Quan Smith, Ted Ginn Jr, and of course Michael Thomas. While Ginn and Smith are both great players, another star alongside Michael Thomas would go a long way in the postseason. Drew Brees (and Teddy Bridgewater) have relied heavily on Thomas through their air this year. With potential matchups against Jaire Alexander, Richard Sherman, and Trae Waynes, it would certainly be helpful to have another star at wideout to take some pressure off of Thomas.
Drew Brees is one of the greatest Quarterbacks of all time and his ability to connect with his receivers is unmatched by almost everybody. Antonio Brown had a number of incredible seasons with Ben Roethlisberger; It is hard to imagine what he would have been able to accomplish if he caught passes from Drew Brees his whole career.
The Saints offense is star-studded already from top to bottom. Drew Brees at the helm, with Alvin Kamara in the backfield, Michael Thomas and Jared Cook catching passes, all along with a top offensive line.
The most important thing to consider with the potential partnership between Brown and the Saints is the nightmare it will pose for opposing Cornerbacks. Michael Thomas has finished top 10 in total receiving yards in each of the last 4 seasons. Brown was top 2 in total receiving yards each year from 2013-2015 and was at least top 10 every year between 2013-2017. While Antonio Brown has slowly ruined his legacy this season due to off the field actions, he will be remembered as an amazing NFL receiver. Michael Thomas is also slowly cementing his status as one of the greats. If these two players lined up together, I do not believe there is an NFL defense that could stop them.
So why wouldn’t the Saints sign Brown? First, it is very likely that even if the Saints did sign him, the NFL would bar him from playing due to their ongoing investigation. Also, the Saints are a team known for their sense of togetherness. Brown harmed the team chemistry in Pittsburgh and it could certainly happen again in New Orleans.