As we turned the clocks back for daylight saving time, the New York Jets turned back the clock in yet another display of puzzling disinterest.
During the wee hours of Sunday morning, it was reported that the Pittsburgh Steelers will send Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders, bringing an end to the contentious relationship between the star wide receiver and the AFC North franchise.
The 30-year-old has been one of the most prolific and productive pass catchers in the game, recording over 100 receptions and at least 1,200 yards in each of the past five seasons.
Yet a fallout with head coach Mike Tomlin, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and management forced the Steelers to search for a deal to ship Brown out of town.
The baggage undoubtedly led to some teams shying away from pursuing a deal, but the promise of acquiring such a playmaking talent can outweigh such flaws.
It’s a reason why the Jets should have made more of a play for Brown.
Second-year quarterback Sam Darnold is devoid of dangerous talent on the outside as his wide-receiving corps doesn’t exactly instill fear in opposing secondaries. Jermaine Kearse is a free agent this winter while Robby Anderson and Quincy Enunwa would be far more effective in a supporting role behind a top-tier receiver like Brown.
Instead, they merely submitted an initial inquiry and nothing more, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
What makes their lack of interest even more bewildering is what it took for the Raiders to nab Brown.
For the game’s top receiver, all Oakland had to do was part ways with a third- and fifth-round draft pick this year. They also will re-structure Brown’s contract to make him the highest-paid receiver in the NFL.
With the draft assets to offer the same kind of deal, Brown’s new contract would have been chump change for the Jets, who have the second-most cap space in the NFL behind only the Indianapolis Colts.
It would have given the Jets a future Hall of Famer to help with the development of their young franchise quarterback that would have quickly sparked the organization’s rebuilding efforts.
Now it might be Le’Veon Bell or bust for the Jets, who need to add a transcendent addition to the offense when free agency begins on Thursday or else they will likely be relegated to another mediocre season in the AFC East behind the New England Patriots.