[LOCKED] 2019 AB Watch: Non-legal Views Only

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lambeau

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AB wanted Jerry to encourage Lynch to trade for him--probably thought SF was not a bad place to go.

I think it's a bit of a bad rap to say he reneged on a contract he voluntarily agreed to because these guys only get paid by signing long term deals--in 2012 the Steelers gave AB the contract Wallace refused, which was $8 M guaranteed, $40 M for 5 years, and announced they had AB tied up until 2017. His
only option at that time was to play for $540,000, as the team MVP who had just become the first 1,000 yard punt returner/receiver.

AB watched Wallace and Le'veon and Revis negotiate passive-aggressively through hold-outs, and just brought a little creativity to it, announcing he had developed cold feet and his head didn't feel right and he couldn't see himself in a Raider helmet.

It's all about Autonomy.
 

BroodsSexton

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AB watched Wallace and Le'veon and Revis negotiate passive-aggressively through hold-outs, and just brought a little creativity to it, announcing he had developed cold feet and his head didn't feel right and he couldn't see himself in a Raider helmet.

It's all about Autonomy.
This is so obvious and great, and I hadn’t seen it before.
 

bsj

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Carson Palmer, he who retired rather than play for the Bengals, doesn't like the "fit"
In fairness, he was referring more to his imprecise route-running, but still...
 
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All I've ever heard about AB until the last couple of days is what an amazing route runner he is. A pure technician who works his ass off. Now all of a sudden he's Mr. Improvise every play.
 

ZMart100

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I choose to believe that he is very football smart and was running the option routes that we have in our offense in an offense that doesn't allow for that kind of deviation. I believe Brady and AB will see the field with one set of eyes. I will believe this until and unless Brady and AB fight on the sidelines.
 

joe dokes

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I choose to believe that he is very football smart and was running the option routes that we have in our offense in an offense that doesn't allow for that kind of deviation. I believe Brady and AB will see the field with one set of eyes. I will believe this until and unless Brady and AB fight on the sidelines.
If they don't, he'll just be a more expensive Chad Johnson 2.0. And if he complains about it, he'll be gone. *That*, despite the caterwauling from Volin and others, is the Patriot way.
 

BigJimEd

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All I've ever heard about AB until the last couple of days is what an amazing route runner he is. A pure technician who works his ass off. Now all of a sudden he's Mr. Improvise every play.
It's not new criticism but certainly more vocal.
Main criticism seemed to be that he would lose focus when things went going right. Goes back at least to the 2017 AFC championship game.
I believe Ben called him out publicly on a couple occasions.
 

54thMA

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Well based on what I've heard so far on the sports airwaves in Boston, the vast majority of the talking heads in this town do not like this move.

That alone makes me like the move even more.
 

loshjott

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Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Chad Johnson, Albert Haynsworth.

3 of these pick ups worked spectacularly well. The other 2 were failures but did not kill a season or really have any long term bad impacts. If AB is a failed signing history shows the Pats will cut their losses and move on quickly.

The upside is Revis: a one year (expensive) rental leading to a SB win.
 

lexrageorge

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Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Chad Johnson, Albert Haynsworth.

3 of these pick ups worked spectacularly well. The other 2 were failures but did not kill a season or really have any long term bad impacts. If AB is a failed signing history shows the Pats will cut their losses and move on quickly.

The upside is Revis: a one year (expensive) rental leading to a SB win.
And the latter two were basically shells of themselves by the time they arrived in Foxboro. Johnson was 33 and was cut by the Dolphins in training camp the following season, a team whose number receiver was Brian Hartline. And he wasn't picked up by anyone else after being cut. Haynesworth was old and slow; he was picked up by Tampa after he was cut, and basically did nothing there and was out of football after that season. And both players, unlike AB, cost the Patriots draft picks.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It's not new criticism but certainly more vocal.
Main criticism seemed to be that he would lose focus when things went going right. Goes back at least to the 2017 AFC championship game.
I believe Ben called him out publicly on a couple occasions.
Big Ben deflects attention from himself with roughly the same ease and frequency with which most people consume oxygen.
 

dcmissle

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Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Chad Johnson, Albert Haynsworth.

3 of these pick ups worked spectacularly well. The other 2 were failures but did not kill a season or really have any long term bad impacts. If AB is a failed signing history shows the Pats will cut their losses and move on quickly.

The upside is Revis: a one year (expensive) rental leading to a SB win.
Brady is a godsend. This is exactly the right message — “I am not buying any hype or potential. I am into work. AB is into work.” Take him under your wing, with tough love.


I have little doubt the team will cut ties quickly if AB acts up in a detrimental way.

The upside has been identified. The downside is money lost on this contract this year if they have big holes to patch — hello, offensive line — and can’t make it work cap wise even if inclined to trade draft picks to address those holes.
 

Saints Rest

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Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, Darrelle Revis, Chad Johnson, Albert Haynsworth.

3 of these pick ups worked spectacularly well. The other 2 were failures but did not kill a season or really have any long term bad impacts. If AB is a failed signing history shows the Pats will cut their losses and move on quickly.

The upside is Revis: a one year (expensive) rental leading to a SB win.
Might you be able to add Rodney Harrison to the list. I know he was considered a dirty player, maybe past his prime. But did he bring any other baggage?
And his arrival contributed to saying goodbye to Lawyer Milloy, a move which, we all know thanks to Tom Jackson, caused the whole team to hate their coach.
But his run in NE ended up being a spectacular run (minus one unfortunate helmet catch).
 

InstaFace

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And the latter two were basically shells of themselves by the time they arrived in Foxboro. Johnson was 33 and was cut by the Dolphins in training camp the following season, a team whose number receiver was Brian Hartline. And he wasn't picked up by anyone else after being cut. Haynesworth was old and slow; he was picked up by Tampa after he was cut, and basically did nothing there and was out of football after that season. And both players, unlike AB, cost the Patriots draft picks.
It also helped that ol' Ochocinco was a Rodney Harrison-level fanboy of Bill Belichick, and the feeling was mutual. He couldn't do it anymore, but he badly wanted to, and was never going to be a distraction.

Only real team distraction I can remember, since the days of Lawyer Milloy and "they hate their coach", is Adalius Thomas. Everyone else has been focused to a greater or lesser degree, and even if they part with some choice words, like Brandon Spikes, that wasn't the case while they were still on the roster.

edit: in related good news, the Steelers' offensive scheme calling is Erhardt-Perkins, same as the Patriots'. Going to west coast calling in Oakland was probably a bigger confusion for him than returning to the EP scheme here.
 

lars10

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Feels more like Randy Moss part 2 than any of the other signings. My only concern is that guys can’t get enough touches with how good the offense is going to be... so he may be unhappy. But I think sitting in lectures with BB and his game prep is like a master class... I’d imagine it’s probably unlike anywhere else. Also, BB likes AB, at least from afar, and usually makes an effort to keep those types of players happy. Boston’s and the national’s media to try and spin this as a bad move is crazy...he either is the no. 1 receiver in the nfl or he acts up and gets cut. There’s no real down side I can see. We just got one of the best WRs in the game for nothing..basically still in his prime.
 

BlackJack

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I am not really up on NFL trade rules - does anyone know how long you need to wait after signing someone before they can be traded? I'm asking because the trade deadline this year is Oct 29. Everyone has been talking about how BB can simply release AB if things don't work out, but he could also trade him.

Something that I think hasn't really been talked about very much is that the Patriots picking up AB doesn't just add him here, it prevents him from helping some other contender. If the Pats want to cut bait, being able to trade him somewhere that he won't be able to hurt NE in the playoffs is valuable, right?
 

InstaFace

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The only teams to whom he'd be worth anything are other playoff contenders, not that BB would worry about trading him to a non-KC team. It does make me wonder whether the 2020 option becomes guaranteed upon a trade, though.
 

uncannymanny

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Brady is a godsend. This is exactly the right message — “I am not buying any hype or potential. I am into work. AB is into work.” Take him under your wing, with tough love.


I have little doubt the team will cut ties quickly if AB acts up in a detrimental way.

The upside has been identified. The downside is money lost on this contract this year if they have big holes to patch — hello, offensive line — and can’t make it work cap wise even if inclined to trade draft picks to address those holes.
This is exactly what I’ve been saying for the past couple days. View all of the mess, from Pittsburgh through the Raiders, through the lens of AB having a Marty McFly-like reaction to having his work ethic questioned.His quotes (including the Gruden call) almost all have him mentioning how hard he works.
 

dcmissle

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If he is on the trade block, it will be immediately apparent to every other team that it is not working here. Why would a contender be remotely interested barring a devastating injury to a #1 receiver?

One of the points in our favor in this is it being ABs last chance to prolong his career with a non-dysfunctional team. Not NE after this year, but someplace else.
 

Jimbodandy

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Not an expert, but I'm more concerned about Mason's garbage performance than Karras at center and fixing slow snaps. Mason going from stoutest lineman to Wendell Kim would cause havoc to the offense. Hopefully he had the flu or something.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Is anyone else concerned about the cap next year? Between the Brady new deal and the Brown contract, they have tacked on $19 million to the 2020 cap with absolutely no corresponding benefit. And it could go as high as $23.5 million if Brown earns his incentives.

That is a huge cap charge to be carrying forward without having your QB signed. It’s not particularly Patriot like to borrow $20 million for one year.
 

Garshaparra

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Is anyone else concerned about the cap next year? Between the Brady new deal and the Brown contract, they have tacked on $19 million to the 2020 cap with absolutely no corresponding benefit. And it could go as high as $23.5 million if Brown earns his incentives.

That is a huge cap charge to be carrying forward without having your QB signed. It’s not particularly Patriot like to borrow $20 million for one year.
There's zero chance Brown plays for a guaranteed $20M next year. It's a team option. If he works out, they'll tear up the contract and go with a 2-3 year deal, good money upfront, bonus spread out once again.
 

finnVT

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There's zero chance Brown plays for a guaranteed $20M next year. It's a team option. If he works out, they'll tear up the contract and go with a 2-3 year deal, good money upfront, bonus spread out once again.
The problem is that a lot of THIS year's salary is already spread into next year. (edit: I think...)
 

tims4wins

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Yep, it’s structured just like the Revis deal. He’s a free agent in 2020 for all intents and purposes.
Hopefully it turns out the same - with a title, then with the Steelers signing him to an absurd deal, taking a victory lap, and watching him age over night
 

E5 Yaz

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Carson Palmer, he who retired rather than play for the Bengals, doesn't like the "fit"
Wait ... he hadn't played in Cincinnati for 7 years before he retired. Did he get traded back or something?
 
After coming to terms with the nausea I'd been feeling about the AB saga over the past few days (why can't any of the teams I love be so good and so lucky like this?), it occurred to me today that for the sake of Antonio Brown as a person, nothing could be better for his future than spending at least one season as a Patriot. It's a bit like sending a talented but wayward young man to boot camp with the Marines - he may not like all of the rules he'll have to follow at Camp Belichick, but they're damn well going to make him a better player and teammate, and possibly even a better person. I hate this as a football fan, but to the extent that I'd generally rather see people thrive as human beings than not, this is probably good news for AB's future.
 
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The upside is Revis: a one year (expensive) rental leading to a SB win.
[/QUOTE]

An even greater upside, albeit perhaps irrationally optimistic, is AB here for several years, following the Moss resurrection story without the later meltdown. Particularly if he and Brady really click, as I expect they will.

One question--will it be financially impossible to keep both AB and Gordon past this year (assuming both work out)?
 

BigJimEd

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There's zero chance Brown plays for a guaranteed $20M next year. It's a team option. If he works out, they'll tear up the contract and go with a 2-3 year deal, good money upfront, bonus spread out once again.
Yes but that $20M isn't what he is discussing.

Bradys new deal pushed about $13.5M into future years.
Brown's SB pushed 4.5M into next year. Plus the are another 4.5M in incentives.

That's a good amount of money pushed into the future for two guys that will be looking for new deals after the season.
That doesn't mean they are bad deals but it is what it Is.
 

Gash Prex

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The suggestion that BB wouldn't make a potential positive impact on AB's life outside of football is ludicrous - just look at Randy Moss and Josh Gordon. Do you think Randy Moss would be the same stand up, respected, former player that he is, if he had never played under BB?
 

dcmissle

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Yes but that $20M isn't what he is discussing.

Bradys new deal pushed about $13.5M into future years.
Brown's SB pushed 4.5M into next year. Plus the are another 4.5M in incentives.

That's a good amount of money pushed into the future for two guys that will be looking for new deals after the season.
That doesn't mean they are bad deals but it is what it Is.
If he is a good soldier and performs at a high level, somebody else will give him crazy money. It may only be for a couple of years, but he will get it and almost certainly take it. And I am fine with that and, in fact, prefer it.

Just get me through early Feb. His biggest challenge will be coming to terms with game plans that don’t have him fed to his satisfaction. He should think quality over quantity. Rosenhaus needs to be in his ear, and I’m sure will be.
 

lexrageorge

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If he is a good soldier and performs at a high level, somebody else will give him crazy money. It may only be for a couple of years, but he will get it and almost certainly take it. And I am fine with that and, in fact, prefer it.

Just get me through early Feb. His biggest challenge will be coming to terms with game plans that don’t have him fed to his satisfaction. He should think quality over quantity. Rosenhaus needs to be in his ear, and I’m sure will be.
+100 on the bolded.

There will be games where AB is not targeted that much for whatever reason. There will also likely be tough losses, and WTF losses. Last season had more than usual of both, but one staple of the Pats under Belichick has been their ability to go "on to Cincinnati". It's an open question as to whether Brown will play along in those scenarios.
 

BigJimEd

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If he is a good soldier and performs at a high level, somebody else will give him crazy money. It may only be for a couple of years, but he will get it and almost certainly take it. And I am fine with that and, in fact, prefer it.

Just get me through early Feb. His biggest challenge will be coming to terms with game plans that don’t have him fed to his satisfaction. He should think quality over quantity. Rosenhaus needs to be in his ear, and I’m sure will be.
Yes. The discussion isn't about re-signing him but the fact that they have a good amount of cap space for 2020 tied up in a couple contracts that are done this season.
They've already borrowed between 18-23M from future cap space.
 

bakahump

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We need to remember this isnt some kind of Random Wheel of receptions.

This is a meritocracy. If you run the right route (so are in the right place) and have done it correctly enough to be open and then make the catch you will get opportunities.

These are all things Brown (supposedly) does exceptionally well. (well 2 out of 3.... There is still debate about his route running and being in the right place). Better then any other WR on the Roster.

So if he does all these things (studies hard, runs the right route etc etc) he will get 80+ Catches and 1000+ yards.

That should be enough food to fill even ABs appetite. And will certainly be enough to make other teams value him highly next off season.

Will Brady spread the ball around? Certainly. But not through some "turn system". He will find an open guy in the right spot.
The Fact that AB is one of the top 4 WRs in the game right now should mean he is often (moreso then Gordan/Dorsett and even Edelman to a degree) in that right spot and open.
This isnt (or shouldnt be) a situation were a guy doesnt or cant get open and isnt in the right spot then Bitches about lack of production.
 

BigSoxFan

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+100 on the bolded.

There will be games where AB is not targeted that much for whatever reason. There will also likely be tough losses, and WTF losses. Last season had more than usual of both, but one staple of the Pats under Belichick has been their ability to go "on to Cincinnati". It's an open question as to whether Brown will play along in those scenarios.
I dunno. I think AB is going to get a lot of consistent action in these games, assuming good behavior and no Ochocinco playbook issues. He is so good at getting open that Brady will almost certainly be looking for him a lot.

With that said, those monster 15-20 target games are likely a thing of the past. Brady doesn’t need to force the ball into AB. Of course, should Gordon relapse, then I think you’d see a big usage increase for AB.

I am positively giddy about the possibility of seeing AB, Gordon, and Jules on the field together. Still can’t believe it.
 

dcmissle

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We need to remember this isnt some kind of Random Wheel of receptions.

This is a meritocracy. If you run the right route (so are in the right place) and have done it correctly enough to be open and then make the catch you will get opportunities.

These are all things Brown (supposedly) does exceptionally well. (well 2 out of 3.... There is still debate about his route running and being in the right place). Better then any other WR on the Roster.

So if he does all these things (studies hard, runs the right route etc etc) he will get 80+ Catches and 1000+ yards.

That should be enough food to fill even ABs appetite. And will certainly be enough to make other teams value him highly next off season.

Will Brady spread the ball around? Certainly. But not through some "turn system". He will find an open guy in the right spot.
The Fact that AB is one of the top 4 WRs in the game right now should mean he is often (moreso then Gordan/Dorsett and even Edelman to a degree) in that right spot and open.
This isnt (or shouldnt be) a situation were a guy doesnt or cant get open and isnt in the right spot then Bitches about lack of production.
Imprecise route running is absolutely another legitimate concern.
 

InstaFace

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So is coverage. He could run routes perfectly and be doubled on every play, opening up Gordon, Edelman and the rest for much higher-value plays. And be recognized for that in film, and by coaches... and still be unhappy, because he isn't getting "his numbers". And BB can make all the arguments he wants about how any coach worth a damn will see the respect being paid to him and the foot speed and precision he's exhibiting out there, and it might satisfy him - or it might not. It's absolutely a fair question as to whether he'll end up seeing his numbers in spite of massive attention from the defense (a la Moss 2007, when it didn't matter how many they put on him), or whether, if he doesn't, he might end up being a malcontent even here.

I think there's a decent chance that he gets his numbers, and further a decent chance that if he doesn't get them despite doing everything he's asked, he'll still be satisfied because he's getting praise from the best coach and QB in the business. But let's acknowledge that other outcomes are not so improbable as to be easily dismissed.
 

E5 Yaz

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Imprecise route running is absolutely another legitimate concern.
A much larger concern than Brown being "disruptive." If he doesn't fit in, he'll be gone. If he freelances, or otherwise force TB12 to hold onto the ball a second more than usual, the entire flow of the offense could be affected.

He and Rothlisberger had years to work with each other on timing and Rothlisberger learned to anticipate where Brown might be on a given play. Not that Brady and Brown can't just, but they'd be doing so on the fly
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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The problem is that a lot of THIS year's salary is already spread into next year. (edit: I think...)
Yep, that was the point I was trying for.

I have a few more thoughts about this (big surprise, I know). I wonder whether it would be a good idea to have a Patriots salary cap thread? Some of the same issues get discussed in the individual threads. It’s a bit weird of a thing to have a thread about given that Miguel’s twitter is so comprehensive on the issue, but sometimes it’s interesting to cover aspects beyond the math. Anyway, my not so coherent thoughts in no particular order.

1. In the abstract, borrowing $4 to 8.5 million from the next year’s cap for a transcendent player is no big deal. It’s doing it on the heels of already being cap strapped and to pushing $14.5 million to next year for an unsigned QB who, if he plays, will get at least $25 to $30 million, that makes it a bit scary.

2. The impact of the Brown deal on next year’s cap is actually more than the $4 to $8.5 million. It’s not like they are paying him league minimum this year, and that has cap consequences for next year. Before the AB signing, the Patriots had pushed off a $14.5 million cap hit to next year in the Brady deal (gift), but in some senses that was inflated because the benefit of doing so was that they opened up cap space for 2019. And it’s a zero sum game. Whatever they don’t spend on practice players, free agents, carries over to next year. A week ago, they were looking at having borrowed $14.5 million from 2020, but with $6.5 million in cap space eligible to carry over after the other 2019 costs. Now, they are looking at having borrowed $19 to $22.5 million from 2020 with zero cap space to carry over, and in fact, they are going to have to make at least one or two more moves that borrow from next year just to get through this year.

3. The techniques they used for Brown and Brady are straight out mortgages. Often, these cap saving moves are just shuffling deck chairs from one year to another in that it all carries over. The conversion to a signing bonus, or whatever, is also borrowing, but it’s not as naked a technique as simply pretending to sign a player for a future year for the sole purpose of borrowing that year’s cap. When the Saints did it with Brees, it was widely reported as a “holy shit, when the time comes to pay the piper that is going to be rough,” and the same is kind of true here. They borrowed $9 million for Brady and they now have borrowed another upwards of $8.5 million for Brown.

4. The NLTBE technique is a bit scary. Doing it for $500k here or there is not a big deal. But they’ve now done it three times for upwards of $5 million. When you do it for Gronk and Brady, it’s not a huge deal. It’s basically a way to get them extra compensation that you’ll pay for later. These are players committed to winning, not incentives, and also when it was done they were already going to be on the team in future years when you knew it would be a make good. In fact, it now seems pretty clear that the NLTBE thing with Brady was largely a sham. A legal sham, but a sham nonetheless. When he didn’t earn them, they simply gifted him another $8 million. Gronk’s were also more in the form of gifts to keep the player happy. Putting nearly a third of the potential comp for a one-year player with a reputation as a diva in NLTBE incentives is a little bit of a desperate move by a cap strapped team. It’s one thing to say, “if he steps out of line, they’ll cut him, Belichick doesn’t deal with that crap.” It’s another, though, to have the guy playing great and then to have Josh have to tell him they are going to run the ball 38 times in week 16 when he’s on the verge of incentives, because it’s in the best interests of the team.

5. In the end, if we’re reading tea leaves, it’s probably safest to assume this means that at least at this point and assuming the cap doesn’t increase by multi-millions in the next couple of years, that the Patriots (like the Saints) are presuming that the first year or two post-Brady is going to be with non-vet at QB. They will find ways to push a $20 million balloon down the line year to year as long as Brady plays, but eventually it’s going to pop and you have to make sure you don’t turn a $20 million balloon into a $40 million balloon. But the reality is, QB is the one position where playing a cost-controlled player even for just one year at the position can wipe out a large carryover cap charge.
 

Jimbodandy

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Yes. The discussion isn't about re-signing him but the fact that they have a good amount of cap space for 2020 tied up in a couple contracts that are done this season.
They've already borrowed between 18-23M from future cap space.
It is a bit out of character. I think that they will be forced to depend on rookie contract guys in the next few years more than ever before.

Frankly it's an incredible job of cap management that it took until this year to start running up the credit cards. Most teams do that at least once per decade.
 

dcmissle

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A much larger concern than Brown being "disruptive." If he doesn't fit in, he'll be gone. If he freelances, or otherwise force TB12 to hold onto the ball a second more than usual, the entire flow of the offense could be affected.

He and Rothlisberger had years to work with each other on timing and Rothlisberger learned to anticipate where Brown might be on a given play. Not that Brady and Brown can't just, but they'd be doing so on the fly
Praising Ben in these parts is like pushing a rock up a hill, but a lot of his improvisation probably was driven by, “where’s AB?” And while Brady is more than nimble enough in the pocket, he is physically not up to the toll of Ben like improvisation. Say what you want, but Ben is built like an ox. He also has taken extreme punishment. The fact that he glories in it after the fact does not diminish these facts.

Add a potentially balky and thin o-line this year, and ...
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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A much larger concern than Brown being "disruptive." If he doesn't fit in, he'll be gone. If he freelances, or otherwise force TB12 to hold onto the ball a second more than usual, the entire flow of the offense could be affected.

He and Rothlisberger had years to work with each other on timing and Rothlisberger learned to anticipate where Brown might be on a given play. Not that Brady and Brown can't just, but they'd be doing so on the fly
Maybe if he's mostly on the outside it will be easier.

You watch Brady and Edelman and it's just crazy. Edelman is running his routes based on where the defenders are and Brady still just knows. Sometimes he takes a flat angle, sometimes a wide angle, sometimes he goes up, and Brady can see it in three dimensions from ground level above the defensive line and he puts it right at the intersection of the angle every single time, often in circumstances where misjudging the angle means a pick.
But Brady has done ok throwing to guys outside the numbers even when he hasn't had too much time to work with them. Malcolm Mitchell figured him out pretty quick. Aaron Dobson and some of the other one-hit wonders who were outside the numbers or over the top guys where precision isn't quite as crucial.
 

BaseballJones

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5. In the end, if we’re reading tea leaves, it’s probably safest to assume this means that at least at this point and assuming the cap doesn’t increase by multi-millions in the next couple of years, that the Patriots (like the Saints) are presuming that the first year or two post-Brady is going to be with non-vet at QB. They will find ways to push a $20 million balloon down the line year to year as long as Brady plays, but eventually it’s going to pop and you have to make sure you don’t turn a $20 million balloon into a $40 million balloon. But the reality is, QB is the one position where playing a cost-controlled player even for just one year at the position can wipe out a large carryover cap charge.
Enter Jarrett Stidham.
 

bakahump

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Jan 8, 2001
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So is coverage. He could run routes perfectly and be doubled on every play, opening up Gordon, Edelman and the rest for much higher-value plays. And be recognized for that in film, and by coaches... and still be unhappy, because he isn't getting "his numbers". And BB can make all the arguments he wants about how any coach worth a damn will see the respect being paid to him and the foot speed and precision he's exhibiting out there, and it might satisfy him - or it might not. It's absolutely a fair question as to whether he'll end up seeing his numbers in spite of massive attention from the defense (a la Moss 2007, when it didn't matter how many they put on him), or whether, if he doesn't, he might end up being a malcontent even here.

I think there's a decent chance that he gets his numbers, and further a decent chance that if he doesn't get them despite doing everything he's asked, he'll still be satisfied because he's getting praise from the best coach and QB in the business. But let's acknowledge that other outcomes are not so improbable as to be easily dismissed.
This isnt new to AB. For this to happen you would have to assume that he has never been doubled, that opposing coaches never game planned to stop him etc etc.

Are you right? Absolutely. He is too good a player. But your scenario seems to propose that AB is somehow all of a sudden introduced to being a focal point of a defense and unable to cope. Yet he has still been very productive and "got his".
You can also consider that Brady may be better at finding AB when open. There has to be some % of times that despite being open AB was missed by his former asshole qb. Brady may well be below that threshold.

In the end I think the talk of potentially being "underutilized" (and thus causing friction) is over blown. Patterson got 28 targets in much less playing time last year. Hogan got 55. Amendola got 86 in '17 and Hogan got 59. Thats before Gronks 89 targets a year (avg the last 2) are distributed through the offense.

If indeed his Route Running is suspect and he isnt getting touches because of that....then "explaining" that and if not corrected moving on seems entirely reasonable.

Its also a powerful Carrot for AB.
 
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