Antonio Brown did not remain a free agent too long after his shocking release from the Oakland Raiders on Saturday.
The New England Patriots scooped up Brown following his release, signing him to a one-year deal worth up $15 million. Brown will get a $9 million signing bonus with the team, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Brown will not be able to play for the Patriots in Week 1 because he did not sign by the 4 p.m. ET deadline, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network. It would have made the Sunday Night Football matchup even more must-see because New England is taking on Pittsburgh, Brown’s former team.
When Brown does get on the field, he joins a wide receiver corps that includes Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon, among others. He’ll also be catching balls from future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady.
Shortly after the report, Brown tweeted out a photo of himself in Pats gear, confirming the news.
Antonio Brown Stats & Expectations With Patriots
It’s been a roller coaster ride for Antonio Brown fantasy owners, but he now finally found a home with the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots.
When at 100 percent and focused, Brown is one of the best in the game. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and a five-time All-Pro — with four selections on the first team.
Brown has totaled over 1,250 yards and 100 catches in each of his last six seasons. He has had double-digit touchdowns in all but two of those years.
In his nine-year career, Brown has collected 11,207 yards and 74 touchdowns.
Antonio Brown Documents Release With Video; Raiders Put Saga Behind Them
The Raiders traded for Brown in the offseason, but he never played a down for Oakland.
Brown released a video of his release, putting the following caption on the post:
“In this crazy world I have to surround myself with winners. People who protect me. People that in just as much work as me. People who respect me as a human. Time to show out!”
The saga in Oakland featured everything from Brown sitting out the preseason with frostbitten feet, to a helmet issue he reportedly threatened to retire over and a spat with his GM that nearly got physical.
The Raiders had a press conference announcing Brown’s release on Saturday and seemed happy to have the saga behind them. Oakland opens its season on Monday Night Football against the Denver Broncos and there won’t be a lack of things to talk about.
“We just have exhausted everything,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “We tried every way possible to make it work. All I’m gonna say is, it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I will tell you I am very proud of what we did as an organization to try and I wish Antonio nothing but the best and I’m sorry that we never got a chance to see him in Silver and Black. Very disappointing in my career as a coach. I really looked forward to coaching him, but it’s not gonna happen. I’m not gonna sit here and talk about it all day, we got 12 rookies, we got a lot to be excited about. I wish Antonio the very best.
“I was very hopeful about what he could bring here, unfortunately it’s not gonna happen. I tell ya, he’s a good guy. He’s misunderstood by a lot of people, but he is a good guy. He’s a great player and I hope he gets what he’s looking for and I’m gonna close it with that. We’ve got a lot to be excited about, we build our team, unfortunately this has overshadowed a lot of great performances by young people who put themselves in position to start their career on Monday Night Football.”