INDIANAPOLIS -- NFL general managers typically are hesitant to engage in bridge burning, but in the case of Antonio Brown, Las Vegas Raiders boss Mike Mayock is still torched.
Made aware of Brown's veiled apology to the team -- in addition to the New England Patriots and others -- the general manager gritted his teeth and stared blankly forward.
"Antonio Brown, I have very little comment about," Mayock said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He had his time with the Raiders and that time is up."
Brown canceled his own show in Oakland when he set new levels for drama before and during 2019 training camp. Traded to the Raiders from the Pittsburgh Steelers before the 2019 draft, Brown never played in a regular-season game for the team while sitting out with a cryotherapy-caused foot injury, a helmet rule standoff and a suspension for a practice-field encounter in which he made contact with Mayock.
"Everyone standing here knows we need help at wide receiver," Mayock said, adding that drafting players at that position is generally the same high-risk gamble as selecting a quarterback at the top of the draft. "We have to get better. The Antonio Brown thing created a void."
To fill the spot, the Raiders could venture into free agency. But Mayock sounds more convinced there will be quality wide receivers available into the fourth round of the 2020 draft. Based on his scouting department's research, he said 12-13 wide receivers are usually drafted in the first four rounds. That number could double this year.
"Easily make an argument from a grade perspective that there are 20-25 (this year)," Mayock said. "We weren't particularly good at wide receiver last year and I think we made mistakes there."
Still open to question in Oakland and Las Vegas is whether Derek Carr will be throwing those wide receivers passes. Mayock said there is a little to the rumors that the team is chasing another veteran, but plenty of likelihood the franchise continues to search for ways to improve the roster in every area.
"The bottom line is this: I think everyone needs to understand the level at which Derek played last year," Mayock said. "Derek played at a high level. We were very pleased with Derek. And every position is evaluated every year. If we can upgrade, we will."
--By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media