Jerry Rice may not be best known for his time as a member of the Oakland Raiders, but he still put together some amazing years during his brief stint with the team. Due to this, he remains very much a part of the “once a Raider, always a Raider” belief and is a beloved alumnus.
Rice was one of the classiest players to ever play wide receiver and when Antonio Brown was first traded to Oakland, he made an effort to go to the team’s facilities and watch some tape with Brown. But when the news came that Brown scorned the Raiders and signed with the New England Patriots, Rice sounded off on his antics.
“We all got played,” Rice said Monday morning on 95.7 The Game. “He contacted me, he told me he wanted to play ball here in the Bay Area. I bought into it because I can only take a man at his word, but I think this was already planned.”
There would’ve been no reason for Rice to doubt Brown at the time. The star wide receiver seemed very happy to suit up in the silver and black. It’s unfortunate that Brown would spurn so many in the Raiders organization who welcomed him with open arms. Rice wasn’t done talking about Brown.
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Rice Buys Into the Patriots Conspiracy
A popular conspiracy that’s been making the rounds is that Brown wanted to be a Patriot all along. He only moved to the Raiders because he knew the Steelers wouldn’t trade him to a rival. Rice believes this to be the case.
“I think when he asked to be released from the Steelers, he wanted to go to the Patriots,” Rice said. “He wanted them to trade him to the Patriots. And there was no way that the Steelers would trade him to a rival. So he had to go a different route. And he decided to come through the Bay Area. And I feel sorry for the fans over in Oakland.”
Rice believes that Brown’s tenure in Oakland was the result of some great acting.
“He was a Denzel Washington and he won the Oscar. He won an Oscar, guys. I’m gonna be honest with you.
In all honesty, it’s hard to imagine that Brown is that calculated. Especially due to recent antics after the trade. If he truly was causing a fuss in Oakland just to force his way to New England then he probably would’ve stopped doing controversial things as soon as he was out.
It appeared that Brown saw the writing on the wall once Mike Mayock stopped putting up with his behavior and may have just wanted to move on. Regardless, Brown has now drawn the ire of two of the biggest and most passionate fan bases in the NFL. If he blows it with the Patriots, he’ll likely have very few fans left.