Football

Why Rich Gannon and Tim Brown like the Raiders’ pending trade for Antonio Brown

FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2018, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) plays against the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL game in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers trade the star receiver they’d prefer to send him to a team they don’t play often. But general manager Kevin Colbert said, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that calculation could change depending on the offer.
FILE - In this Dec. 2, 2018, file photo, Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) plays against the Los Angeles Chargers in an NFL game in Pittsburgh. If the Steelers trade the star receiver they’d prefer to send him to a team they don’t play often. But general manager Kevin Colbert said, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2019, that calculation could change depending on the offer. AP

Count a couple former Oakland Raiders stars among the fans of the pending Antonio Brown trade.

Former Raiders wide receiver Tim Brown and quarterback Rich Gannon went on Sirius XM NFL Radio on Monday and shared their reactions to the Raiders agreeing to acquire Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade.

“The Raiders had to do something,” Tim Brown said. “They had to get a playmaker in there. … I think to go out and get a veteran, established guy, a guy who probably is number one or number two in all the categories in the NFL since he’s been in the league, I think it’s a big, big get for the Raiders.”

Gannon echoed his former teammate’s take.

“He’s probably one of the best receivers in football, if not, the best.” Gannon said of Antonio Brown. “In terms of his production and consistency and you watch him on the practice field, no one works harder. He loves football and he loves to compete.”

Brown and Gannon played for Jon Gruden during the coach’s first go-round with the Raiders.

Gannon said hooking up with Gruden should be a good fit for Antonio Brown, a nine-year veteran.

“Jon Gruden loves those passionate guys.” Gannon said “Jon will sit down with him and say ‘Hey, look, we’ll get you 1,500 yards and we’ll get you 120 balls, but here’s what I need you to do for me.’ ”

Gannon compared the trade to when the Raiders signed Jerry Rice to a free-agent contract in 2001. Gannon said he noticed a difference in the team the moment Rice appeared in the locker room.

“Jerry Rice came into our building and the minute he arrived he brought credibility, production and consistency,” he said. “He also brought toughness and leadership, not just to our receiving group, but to our whole football team — and that’s what I think is going to be important and needed, and I wonder if Antonio can be that guy for the Raiders.”

Raiders staying busy

The Raiders made three moves on the first day teams were permitted to contact and enter contract negotiations with free agents.

Deals cannot be finalized until when the NFL year begins Wednesday.

Agreeing to deals:

Safety Lamarcus Joyner. The 28-year-old played with the Los Angeles Rams last season and totaled 78 tackles, one sack, one interception and three pass deflections. Joyner, listed at 5-foot-8, was franchise-tagged last season after spending five seasons with the Rams.

Tackle Trent Brown. He spent last season with the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. Listed at 6-foot-8, Brown, 25, started all 16 games after playing three seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.

The Raiders agreed to trade left guard Kelechi Osemele and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 draft to the New York Jets for a fifth-round draft pick in the upcoming draft.

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Anthony Galaviz writes about sports for The Fresno Bee. He covers the Oakland Raiders, high schools, boxing, MMA and junior colleges. He’s been with The Bee since 1997 and attended Fresno City College before graduating from Fresno State with a major in journalism and a minor in criminology.


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