Ex-NFL linebacker believes Antonio Brown’s career is Hall of Fame worthy: ‘Can’t deny the production’

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Ex-NFL linebacker believes Antonio Brown’s career is Hall of Fame worthy: ‘Can’t deny the production’

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Antonio Brown’s fall from grace has been well documented, to the point where some may even forget just how good the receiver was on the gridiron.

Former NFL linebacker Bobby Carpenter hasn’t, and while making an appearance on OutKick’s “Hot Mic” on Monday, he made an interesting argument. 

“Hall of Famer, yes or no?” Carpenter asked co-hosts Jonathan Hutton and Chad Withrow.

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Bobby Carpenter #59 of the Detroit Lions reacts to a fourth down stop during the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field on October 10, 2011, in Detroit. The Lions defeated the Bears 24-13. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Why does Carpenter ask the question? Brown’s production is the reason. 

“You can’t deny the production. I know that nobody wants to see him go in because he’s a hate-able character,” Carpenter said. 

Brown’s antics on and off the field toward the end of his career, as well as post-career, don’t check the stand-up character box usually on a Hall of Fame application. 

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However, Brown’s production resume is about as impressive as it gets. 

Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro, a Super Bowl champion with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and a member of the Hall of Fame All-2010s Team. 

There was a stretch from 2013-18 where one could make the argument Brown was the best wide receiver in the NFL, as he never had less than 1,280 receiving yards and 100 receptions in all of those seasons. 

In 2014, Brown led the NFL in receiving yards (1,698) and receptions (129), which he would also lead the league in with 136 catches in 2015. Then in 2018, Brown had a league-high 15 receiving touchdowns to go with his 1,297 yards.

Antonio Brown smiles

Antonio Brown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers warms up prior to the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on January 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Through nine seasons with the Steelers, Brown has 11,207 yards with 74 touchdowns and 86.2 yards averaged per game. 

With 12,291 receiving yards for his career, Brown is 25th all-time in the NFL. That’s more than Hall of Famers Michael Irvin, Don Maynard, Calvin Johnson, Shannon Sharpe and more. 

“His numbers, guys, they’re undeniable,” Carpenter said. “You look at what he did – my qualifications for [the Hall of Fame] are, ‘Were you one of the best players in the conversation for the majority of a decade?’ So, for like six or seven years, were you first- or second-team All-Pro. He’s that. He’s got it all.”

Carpenter even pointed out a “sad thing,” as he believes his numbers would’ve been even better “if he could’ve kept it together the last four or five years, but it just became a circus.”

Brown’s last time on an NFL field was when he infamously threw off his pads while playing for the Bucs against the New York Jets, and he ran off the field before halftime at MetLife Stadium, throwing up a peace sign in the process as he ran to the locker room.

Antonio Brown in 2021

Oct 14, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. (Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Say what you want about Brown’s character, but his numbers do speak for themselves.

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But while Carpenter makes a good point, it’s unlikely the Pro Football Hall of Fame would be welcoming Brown into its ranks anytime soon.

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