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It appears we’ve reached the endgame of Antonio Brown’s absurd month with the Oakland Raiders.
The All-Pro wide receiver has agreed to a deal with the New England Patriots, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The news comes only a few hours after the Raiders honored Brown’s request to be released.
Per Schefter, the deal is a one-year, $15 million pact that includes a $9 million signing bonus for Brown. Brown himself confirmed the deal on Twitter with a photoshop of himself in a Patriots uniform.
That deal still comes short of the $30 million in guaranteed money that Brown turned away from by forcing his way out of Oakland, but he could still make the money back and more with a strong performance this season.
The deal can’t officially be signed until Monday, so Brown won’t be eligible to play in the Patriots’ season opener against his old team in the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Brown finds new team after Raiders debacle
Brown’s free agency lasted all of four hours, which might be surprising considering the sheer volume of red flags he raised during his stint with the Raiders. Bill Belichick still didn’t seem to mind as long it gave his team one of the best receivers of his generation.
The Raiders acquired Brown for a third- and fifth-round pick this offseason after the wide receiver torched every bridge in sight with the Steelers.
Slated to be the Raiders’ biggest star, Brown’s training camp was instead one embarrassment after another for the team. Cryotherapy frostbite, helmet grievances, shouting matches and cryptic YouTube videos were the story of the Raiders’ last month.
That fight culminated in Brown asking the Raiders to release him with an Instagram post on Saturday morning. The team heeded his wishes soon after, much to the videotaped delight of Brown. The Patriots didn’t wait long to pounce.
The Patriots are now absolutely terrifying
Improving your stable of pass catchers after losing Rob Gronkowski to retirement shouldn’t be possible. It just shouldn’t.
And yet, the Patriots are now slated to have the following wide receivers catching passes from Tom Brady: Brown, Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas and Phillip Dorsett, with first-round draft pick N’Keal Harry waiting in the wings on injured reserve.
Add that group to one of the NFL’s best receiving backs in James White, and Tom Brady has the best set of weapons of his entire career. Good luck with that, AFC. It’s probably not going to help much.
The one saving grace for the rest of the league is that Brown is still Antonio Brown, who has now forced his way out of two different teams in one year. Belichick has taken in difficult players before, but Brown could be a different level of challenge.
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