Superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown was picked up in record time by the New England Patriots yesterday, just a few short hours after demanding to be released from his three-year $50 million contract with the Oakland Raiders over social media. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve heard how Antonio’s Saturday norning plea to be released was preceded by a secret tape he made of Raiders head coach, Jon Gruden, begging the seven-time Pro Bowler to get back to work and play football.
NFL Network Insider reported Antonio managed to get himself a $15 million one-year deal out of the Patriots, with $10 million in guarantees. Coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization have shown a unique ability over the years for snatching up high performing players with issues and contract disputes. However, many are starting to wonder if Antonio and the Patriots had the fix in from the start.
How does Antonio Brown go from apologizing to the team for his out of line conduct with GM Mayock in the afternoon, where he apparently threatened to punch Mayock, to being so bold as to drop a secretly recorded tape of Raiders coach Jon Gruden that same evening on YouTube? What changed Antonio Brown’s apologetic tenor so quickly? Had Antonio been talking to the Patriots about a deal? Were the Patriots manipulating the situation?
It took less than six hours after the Raiders agreed to release Antonio for the Patriots to knock out a deal with the league leading receiver – so fast, no other teams even had time to craft a serious offer. Maybe it was just easy for other teams to see what was going down, that Antonio and the Patriots were making a play for each other all along.
Antonio Brown gave up on his three-year deal with the Raiders with $29 million in guarantees, even though he would have been the center of the team’s offensive scheme, basically assured of putting up awesome stats on the field all season. However with the Patriots, he’s only locked up the 2019-2020 season, losing millions of dollars in the process. The receiver core for the Pats is already excellent – even with Tom Brady’s high toss percentage, Antonio can only hope for so many touches.
While the Patriots just moved ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs for this season’s Super Bowl favorite with this acquisition, they haven’t really done Antonio Brown any favors. He’s getting the freedom he talked about on Instagram, true, but in reality, we’re all free to lose money.
Antonio’s eligible to take the field on week 2, Patriots vs. Dolphins in Miami. We’ll keep you up to date on all developments with the story – until the next time it drips…