Jerry Rice says Antonio Brown 'played him,' always wanted Patriots

Dalton Johnson
NBC Sports BayArea

Even the G.O.A.T. can get played. And that's exactly what Antonio Brown did to Jerry Rice. 

"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." 

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The 49ers legend vowed to mentor Brown in late January if AB was traded to the 49ers, and even said San Francisco should try to acquire the star receiver. Ultimately, general manager John Lynch made the wise decision in avoiding Brown's drama, which the Raiders finally couldn't handle anymore. 

The Raiders released Brown on Saturday morning after a series of incidents this offseason. Hours after he became a free agent, Brown agreed to a one-year contract with the Patriots. Two days later, New England reportedly added a $20 million contract option to AB's deal for the 2020 season.

Rice believes this was all part of the plan. 

"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.

"He was a Denzel Washington and he won the Oscar. He won an Oscar, guys. I'm gonna be honest with you.

[RELATED: Why AB's agent thinks Raiders don't deserve flak for drama]

If Brown lied to the greatest to ever play at his position, what's next? He could be a superstar or he could be a headache. Really, he could be both. 

Either way, he's the Patriots' problem to handle now.

Jerry Rice says Antonio Brown 'played him,' always wanted Patriots originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

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