The biggest soap opera in the NFL has finally come to an end. On Saturday, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown requested and was ultimately granted his release by the team, ending a tumultuous week for Brown and the team.
Now, all eyes turn to where Brown will land next. He has caused enough headaches at two previous stops in less than a year, which might act as a deterrent to teams looking to ink the receiver, despite his talent.
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But one anonymous head coach has a feeling Brown will end up on the New England Patriots. Pro Football Talk reported an anonymous head coach feels that Bill Belichick would be the likely candidate to take a flyer on Brown. And given Belichick’s track record of making similar signings, it wouldn’t be all that unusual.
If New England were to sign Brown it would add another dimension to an already loaded receiving corps. The Patriots already have veterans Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas as outside options with rookie N’Keal Harry waiting in the wings on injured reserve. Brown simply wouldn’t fit, but that wouldn’t stop the Patriots and Belichick from trying to incorporate the troubled receiver into their offensive scheme.
Randy Moss and Ochocinco Weren’t Big Problems
The Patriots have inked guys like Brown several times in the past. The two that stick out most are Randy Moss and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson.
Moss signed with the Patriots in 2007. His talent was starting to be overshadowed by his antics on and off the field. But upon joining the Patriots, his personality shifted temporarily and he was one of the more reliable guys in the New England locker room.
His time in New England ended in a less-than-memorable manner, getting traded a few games into the 2010 season. But his arrival, while controversial, showed that Belichick was willing to work with some troubled players despite past issues.
Even now, look at Josh Gordon and how he has started to turn a new leaf in the Patriots organization. Whether or not he fulfills that promise is his issue, but he has already become a better person off the field since coming to the Patriots.
Ochocinco is most similar to Brown. The star was nearly pushed out of the league for his arrogance, but Belichick took a chance on him and although it didn’t bear fruit on the field, Johnson kept his nose pretty clean in New England.
But What About Albert Haynesworth?
There’s a possibility Brown comes to the Patriots and becomes even more of a problem.
It happened when the Patriots took a chance on Albert Haynesworth. The troubled defensive tackle lasted less than four months in New England before being waived in 2011. There’s been others too who haven’t shied away from trouble or controversy off the field, like Brandon Spikes or Aaron Hernandez.
The Patriots have dealt with those matters accordingly. If Brown is to come to New England and continues to pull the same nonsense he did in Oakland, Belichick will let him loose in a hurry. And in that regard, you have to ask is he really worth the low risk?