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Holy crap, Antonio Brown is a Patriot

Terrence Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the bright side, we might get some fascinating Bill Belichick behind-the-scenes audio.

To complete (for now) the utterly bizarre Antonio Brown saga, the superstar receiver has agreed on a deal with the Patriots, according to various reports. ESPN reported the deal will be for one year and worth up to $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus.

A year ago, he was a fixture of the Steelers. A month ago, he was a Raider with a foot that had frostbite from a cryogenic therapy chamber. A week ago, he was warring with the NFL over what helmet he could wear. In the past few days, he redirected that war toward the Raiders, who had fined him for missed practices, and he responded by reportedly calling GM Mike Mayock a “cracker” and needed to be held back from him.

The Raiders initially were going to suspend him, then decided against it when he apologized, then fined him for the Mayock blowup, which got Brown angry all over again. After Brown put out a video that included audio of a private phone call with Jon Gruden, they voided his deal, he celebrated, and now he is signing with the Patriots. Just in time for the season.

Bill Belichick’s belief in his structure winning over headcases is well documented, but this might be a new kind of challenge for him. The defending champions suddenly have the most talented wide receiver corps in football, adding Brown to Josh Gordon and Julian Edelman. If the team can stay together, it could be unstoppable.

Meanwhile, those Steelers fans who were celebrating Brown’s quick exit from Oakland might have to reassess those emotions.

Brown won’t. He must be thrilled he’s going to the perennial Super Bowl contenders — and even more thrilled he’s done with the Raiders, for some reason.


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