The New England Patriots need help at wide receiver. That’s one of the most widely known issues in the NFL. Are there issues bad enough to bring back Antonio Brown?
At least one long-time NFL writer thinks so. WEEI’s Ken Laird, who used to cover Brown while he was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and now covers the Patriots says that if Bill Belichick and Co. are “serious about this season” they should bring Brown back.
However, as is the case with all things related to Brown, it’s a complicated situation.
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Antonio Brown is Eligible For Reinstatement After Week 8
The Patriots signed Brown last year after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. He played one game, made four receptions for 52 yards and a TD. However, 11 days later, he was released after he was accused of sexual assault.
Brown also had an assault case, for which he plead no contest and received a sentence of two years probation. For his conduct, the NFL suspended him for the first eight weeks of this season. He’s eligible to return and the Seattle Seahawks are the team most often mentioned in conjunction with Brown, but should the Patriots be in the mix?
Despite Brown’s Issues, Laird Believes the Patriots Should Look to Re-Sign Brown
Laird says without hesitation, the Patriots should be all in on Brown. He wrote:
The Patriots are penny pinchers? Twenty-six million dollars under the cap? Bob, what gives? Well, I’ve got one surefire way to convince the fan base that New England is yet again in it to win it: Re-sign Antonio Brown when his eight-game suspension lifts in two weeks. Radical? Yes. But desperate times do call for desperate measures, and a 2-3 record for the Pats in October is alarm-sounding time.
Is Brown Really the Best Option at WR for the Patriots?
The answer to this question depends on how you look at the situation. You’d have to be completely out of touch with reality to think a receiving corps of an aging and compromised Julian Edelman, and underachieving N’Keal Harry, Damiere Byrd, Jakobi Myers, and nearly invisible Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene are good enough to help Cam Newton move the ball through the air.
The Patriots need to get some weapons in the passing game.
As good as Brown has been during his career, there is a chance he won’t be as productive as he has in the past. There’s also a chance his behavioral issues could rear their head again.
That said, signing Brown would represent the most low-risk, high-reward concept for the Patriots. Every other receiver potentially available, whether it’s A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Will Fuller, John Ross or others would require the Patriots to part ways with draft assets.
Signing Brown wouldn’t require that, and his price tag wouldn’t be extremely high. He has a lot to prove to the NFL, and he’ll almost certainly be signing a cost-friendly deal. This is likely his last chance to prove he can be a positive presence on an NFL team, and that’s important because it could lead to motivation for him.
Also, Brown would be the unquestioned No. 1 target in New England, which is something he likely covets. As good as the Seahawks are, Brown probably doesn’t supplant D.K. Metcalf as Russell Wilson’s No. 1 option. Throw in the leadership of Newton, who has seemingly been able to connect will all kinds of teammates, and there is some potential in this union. We shall see what if anything comes of the scenario, but bringing Brown back wouldn’t be the worst idea for the Patriots.
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