As if the Antonio Brown saga couldn’t get any more interesting, it just keeps on adding twists.
Just hours after Brown demanded his release from the Oakland Raiders — and was granted it — the Pro Bowl wide receiver signed with the New England Patriots on a one-year deal worth $15 million and $9 million guaranteed.
It was a stunning sequence of events that saw Brown reportedly engage in a chaotic exchange with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, enter Friday on the verge of suspension — only to not be suspended. He then proceeded to post a video of a phone conversation he had with Jon Gruden, accusing people of portraying him as the bad guy.
Then Saturday happened — and Brown ended the day as a member of the Patriots.
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‘Theory’ Antonio Wanted to Play for Patriots
Needless to say, this whole situation grabbed plenty of attention. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe addressed the rumblings which are apparently circling the NFL. Per Howe, the “theory floating around the league” is that Brown wanted to be a Patriot all along.
An additional tidbit was posted by Robert Littal, CEO of the website Black Sports Online. Littal states that a source believes the situation was coordinated to potentially set Brown up to sign with the Patriots.
There has been no other report or rumor to this point which indicates the situation involving Brown and the Patriots was coordinated.
Patriots’ 2019 Version of Randy Moss Addition?
The Patriots have never shied away from adding players who have previously been surrounded by some form of controversy. One example of that is Randy Moss, who also voiced displeasure with the Raiders following the 2006 season. When all was said and done, Oakland traded the star wideout to the Patriots in exchange for just a fourth-round draft pick in 2007.
Moss played his first season in New England at the age of 30 (Brown is 31) and proceeded to put together a superb first three seasons. Over that stretch, he topped 1,000 yards each year while scoring 47 touchdowns in 48 games. This included the 2007 season in which Moss hauled in 98 passes for 1,493 yards and a career-high 23 touchdowns.
Not only are the 23 receiving touchdowns a career-best for Moss, but it’s also the NFL record. He’s one of only two players who have ever topped 20 receiving touchdowns in a single season, with the other being Jerry Rice.
While it’s impossible to compare what Moss did with the Patriots directly to the addition of Brown, there’s no argument that the former Raiders/Pittsburgh Steelers pass-catcher is one of the NFL’s most talented. How he’ll mesh with Tom Brady, Josh Gordon and the rest of New England’s impressive offense will be a talking point, but Brown will certainly be under the spotlight as he continues his career with the reigning Super Bowl champs.