Antonio Brown's tenure with the Oakland Raiders is over after he played exactly zero snaps for the Silver and Black. He didn't see any action during the preseason due to the ongoing helmet issue, as well as recovering from frostbitten feet, and the team released him on Saturday morning. Now a free agent, Brown will theoretically have his choice of destination, but what happens if a new team doesn't offer him a contract?
Considering that he is a generational talent that still has plenty of potential, there is no reason to believe that Brown will not be on an NFL roster by week two at the latest. However, the off-the-field issues and reported altercations with general manager Mike Mayock could be very offputting for multiple franchises. If that happens, there is essentially one other option for Brown that does not involve moving to Canada to join the CFL.
Next year, Vince McMahon will be bringing the XFL back to television screens. This short-lived league crashed and burned back in 2001, but the head of WWE is hopeful that this second attempt will be wildly successful.
To achieve this goal, McMahon and the XFL will need a player that they can use to sell merchandise and tickets to games. In the eyes of fans, that person is Antonio Brown. He has the personality and off-the-field issues that would fit with the XFL's stigma, and he is talented enough to make the games exciting. Twitter was full of couch coaches that were trying to make this partnership happen.
One of the biggest issues surrounding Antonio Brown during the offseason was the fact that he couldn't wear his beloved helmet. The former Raiders receiver had been using a Schutt helmet throughout his entire career, but it was no longer allowed by the NFL. Instead, he had to form a lucrative partnership with Xenith helmets. If Brown goes to the XFL, however, he might not face off with these strict helmet rules, but that is up to McMahon's discretion.
If Antonio Brown did call Mike Mayock a "cracker" and threatened to punch him, he should be relieved that he was simply fined and released by the Oakland Raiders. In the XFL, verbally attacking Vince McMahon would result in a very different form of punishment. Is Brown built to withstand a hit from a folding chair, or will he have to bulk up a bit? At least it would give him another method for testing the strength of his helmet.
In WWE, the wrestlers have nicknames. Steve Austin was Stone Cold while Dwayne Johnson was The Rock. This tradition has continued into the modern era of wrestling, and now, fans are hoping that it will define the XFL. Will this side project of Vince McMahon feature players known as King Shark or something similar? According to Mike Freeman, Brown should already have a nickname for his XFL debut, one that is based upon an offseason incident.
The nickname Antonio Brown’s future XFL teammates will give him is Cryogenic.— mike freeman (@mikefreemanNFL) September 5, 2019
Joking aside, this potential move to the XFL is one that actually makes legitimate sense for most football fans. Vince McMahon is a man that loves him some drama and knows how to turn it into a lot of money. Brown is someone that creates drama wherever he goes and doubly so on social media. On paper, it's the perfect fit. Brown will get paid like a superstar while the XFL will get to sell his unique style of drama.
Not so crazy theory: Antonio Brown gets signed to the XFL and the WWE because that’s the only way he will be able to make the money he wants, and the Vince McMahon gets the drama his program thrives on. pic.twitter.com/N6m7SfsftB— joe courtney (@Eo3Joe) September 7, 2019
Fans would assume that Antonio Brown would not have to try out for an XFL team. He would simply be given a lucrative contract to perform in this side football league.
That said, there are many that cannot resist using clown photos to represent the former Raiders wide receiver. Brown has been described as such since the news of his helmet grievance went public, and the cries of "clown" have only increased in recent days.
Antonio Brown waiting outside for his 2020 XFL tryout pic.twitter.com/p9MUfjQXyd— Mitch Wishnowsky (Parallel Universe) (@mitchwishnowsky) September 5, 2019
Andrew Luck and Antonio Brown are clearly in different places at this point in their careers. The former Colts quarterback called it quits in order to preserve his health, both physical and mental. Brown, on the other hand, is certainly physically healthy while his mental state is being questioned on a regular basis. That being said, he still wants to play football while Luck is truly done. That doesn't mean that football fans can't dream. There are countless individuals on Twitter talking about the potential Luck to Brown connection in the XFL.
The Andrew Luck to Antonio Brown connection is going to dominate the XFL.— Mike Clay (@MikeClayNFL) September 7, 2019
The XFL has a team known as the Los Angeles Wildcats, and fans are already predicting that Antonio Brown will land in the City of Angels as a member of this team. Head coach Winston Moss spend 30 years combined as a coach or player in the NFL, including time with the Raiders, and he would certainly love to have a player of Brown's caliber on his roster.
On a fun side note, there is a comedian, Matt Braunger, who has a bit about the term Wildcattin' being used to describe someone that is out of control. Could this aspect also be in play with Antonio Brown?