But the big question around the league following the announcement of his signing was if Brown was going to be able to suit up for Week 1 with the Patriots on Sunday Night Football against the Pittsburgh Steelers — his former team.
While it would have been an uphill battle anyway for Brown to play with zero practice with his new team, the answer is no when it comes to the question of him being active on Sunday.
The signing just missed the deadline, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
And don’t expect to see Brown on the sideline, either. NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that a league spokesman told him, “[Brown] is not officially a member of the team so he is not allowed to be with or around the team.
That means that Brown’s Patriots debut will likely be on against the lowly Dolphins in Week 2.
Antonio Brown, Patriots Orchestrated Release From Raiders: Report
It would have been hard to write a crazier script for what transpired in Oakland between Brown and the Raiders.
Just to recap: Brown couldn’t practice because of frostbite to his feet suffered in cryotherapy; he threatened to retire over helmet issues; he threatened his GM and called him a racial slur; and then finally — when the Raiders fined him and said they were going to take away his guaranteed money — Brown demanded his release, which Oakland quickly granted.
Robert Littal of Black Sports Online, said that a league source texted him saying that once Brown found out he could sign with the Patriots, he put the crazy train in motion to make it happen.
Brown did seem thrilled in a video he released following the news of the Raiders cutting him loose, 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!”
Antonio Brown Contract & Expectations With Patriots
The 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.
When Brown was traded to the Raiders, he signed a new deal that was set to pay out $50.125 million over the next three seasons and gave him guaranteed cash of $30.125 million. Due to his antics, the Raiders eliminated that guaranteed money, eventually leading to Brown demanding his release.
When Brown does get on the field, he joins a wide receiver corps that includes Julian Edleman and Josh Gordon, among others. He’ll also be catching balls from future Hall of Fame QB Tom Brady.
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.