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Can Derek Carr And The Raiders Make The Most Of Antonio Brown?

After reports late last week that Antonio Brown was heading to the Buffalo Bills, the Pittsburgh Steelers will instead reportedly trade their star receiver to the Oakland Raiders for a third- and a fifth-round pick in the 2019 draft. When the deal is finalized on Wednesday, Brown will have a restructured contract from the Raiders — adding $30 million in guaranteed money — which will make him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL. In a trade largely about money, the Raiders get perhaps the best receiver in the NFL for a pair of low-value draft picks, and the Steelers get to move on from a relationship that had become toxic and untenable for all involved.

Brown will land atop an Oakland receiving corps that is sorely lacking in playmakers, and he’ll surely become the focal point of the passing attack. But how exactly will the Raiders deploy their new weapon? Under head coach Jon Gruden, the Raiders used West Coast passing concepts extensively in 2018. Quarterback Derek Carr’s average depth of target fell from 8.2 yards in 2017 to 6.9 in 2018 as Gruden reshaped the offense into one built on shorter curl, flat and slant routes that did not try to stretch the field.

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