After a bizarre offseason with the Oakland Raiders, the team officially released Antonio Brown, voiding his $30 million guarantee. Within hours, Brown was signed by the New England Patriots to a one-year, $15 million deal with $9 million guaranteed.
The Raiders organization traded for Brown in March, sacrificing a third and fifth-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After a drama filled offseason, the team finally severed ties with the diva-receiver.
Brown took to social media multiple times during the exit process with the Raiders. Before his release, Brown posted a private phone call with head coach Jon Gruden. The phone call was paired with a nicely edited video of Brown in an attempt to make him look like the victim in the situation. One has to feel sorry for the Raiders organization, as Gruden expressed sincere concern in the mental health of Brown and his ability to help the Raiders team.
The move is a smart one by the Patriots. If Brown doesn’t buy into the “Patriot way”, then they can easily cut him and move on with their season. Since winning the Super Bowl, the Patriots have added Josh Gordon and Brown. Brady hasn’t thrown to this type of receiving corp since the 2007 season, where he threw for over 50 touchdowns and the Patriots finished the regular season undefeated.
Gruden remains to defend Brown, expressing his love for the receiver’s work ethic. Gruden wished Brown luck, stating that he’s “good guy” and “misunderstood”.
After the acquisition of Brown, the Patriots Super Bowl odds went from 6-1 to 4-1, pushing them past the Kansas City Chiefs. The updated win total was increased from 11 wins to 11.5 wins.
Brown will add a vertical dynamic to the Patriots, something that’s only been evident when former tight end Rob Gronkowski was an elite player. Besides Gronkowski, the only other downfield threat Tom Brady has consistently thrown to is Randy Moss, who broke the single season receiving touchdown record with Brady.