Antonio Brown agrees to contract with Patriots reportedly worth up to $15 million hours after Raiders grant release

What NFL fans across the country feared is actually happening: Antonio Brown will be catching passes from Tom Brady this season. Following his release from the Oakland Raiders on Saturday, Brown has decided to sign with the New England Patriots, he confirmed on Instagram.

Brown is set to make up to $15 million on a one-year deal with the Patriots, including a $9 million signing bonus, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

Brown was free to sign with any team in the league at 4 p.m. ET on Saturday, and it didn't take him long to agree to terms with the reigning Super Bowl champions, who just so happen to be facing his former team in the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 1. Brown will not be eligible to play in the game, however, as he was not on the roster as of 4 p.m.

Antonio Brown is joining the Patriots and everyone is freaking the geek out. Is this a vast conspiracy by the Pats to ruin AFC rivals? Will AB be good? Should you trade him in fantasy or ride the wave? Fortunately Will Brinson, Ryan Wilson and John Breech are here to break everything down on the latest episode of the Pick Six Podcast. Listen below and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts:

Here's what you need to know about the stunning news that Brown will be a Patriot for the 2019 season.

How Brown fits into the offense

Brown joins a Patriots receiver room that features Super Bowl LIII MVP Julian Edelman and recently reinstated Josh Gordon, forming arguably the best trio at the receiver position in the NFL if everything runs smoothly. Not only will Josh McDaniels' offense be headlined by that trio, it also features Demaryius Thomas, Phillip Dorsett and rising rookie Jakobi Meyers. It's a far cry from how this pass-catching group in New England looked early in the offseason.

New England's first round receiver N'Keal Harry is currently on injured reserve but could also rejoin the team later in the season.

As things stand currently, Brown has two big hurdles to leap over to make this marriage with the Patriots work. The first is how quickly he can grasp the offense. That has been a problem with newcomers to the Patriots in the past, but if he can build up a rapport with Tom Brady, the two should be able to produce sensational numbers. 

The other hurdle depends on how well he can keep his off-field antics to a minimum. There is a track record of disgruntled players coming to New England and being good soldiers, so Bill Belichick does have experience managing a personality like Brown. If he follows in the footsteps of running back Corey Dillon and wide receiver Randy Moss before him, this offense could have shades of 2007 when the Patriots ripped through the regular season at a 16-0 clip. We dove deeper into this crossroads in Brown's career right here.

Fantasy fallout from Brown joining Patriots

As for what Brown will be able to from a fantasy perspective, CBS Sports senior editor Chris Towers says, "Assuming Brown can get up to speed with the Patriots quickly -- and it didn't take Josh Gordon long last season -- you have to assume he slots in as their No. 1. He might not get fed targets like he would have been Oakland, but the upgrade from Derek Carr to Brady should help make up for that. Brown won't play in Week 1, but could be a borderline No. 1 Fantasy WR once the Patriots activate him."

Dave Richard went further into the fantasy repercussions from Brown's move to New England, which you can check out here.

Adam Aizer and Dave Richard broke down more fantasy implications of the news on a Fantasy Football Today emergency podcast, which you can listen to below:

Gambling, odds impact of Brown to New England

If things go according to plan, Brown will be able to suit up for New England's Week 2 matchup with the Dolphins down in Miami. That contest is seemingly already being circled by the oddsmakers as Westgate's lookahead line for Pats-Dolphins was New England -10.5 before the Brown signing. It has since been moved to New England -11.

As for Brown's impact on New England's futures odds, the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas moved the Patriots' odds of winning the Super Bowl to 4-to-1 soon after the news broke. SportsLine data engineer Stephen Oh shared his revised odds for the Patriots as well.


WINSWIN%DIVISIONPLAYOFFAFCSB
Before signing 11 68.8% 86.9% 92.2% 31.1% 17.7%
w/ Antonio Brown 11.4 71.3% 90.4% 94.8% 35.0% 20.9%
IMPACT 0.4 2.5% 3.5% 2.6% 3.9% 3.2%

With Brown, the Patriots have better than 20 percent chance of winning the Super Bowl, which offers slight value on a 4-to-1 bet. The Patriots also have better than one-third chance to win the AFC with Brown in tow.

Brown to New England inevitable?

Brown joining the Patriots isn't a surprise to some. CBS Sports NFL insider Jason La Canfora took the pulse of the league after Brown's release, and New England was the team that first cropped up among many execs.  From La Canfora:

The team most GMs mentioned first was the Patriots, which should come as no surprise. Bill Belichick has shown the ability to handle most any personality, and troubled players have a way of conforming, quickly, within New England's selfless, winning culture. The Patriots could certainly use another pass catcher with their tight end group lacking after Rob Gronkowski's retirement and with receiver N'Keal Harry opening the season on injured reserve. Tom Brady has a way of steadying receivers prone to extremes. And with Brown in need of a major reputation overhaul if he is ever going to earn big money again, there's no better place to do it than on a team that seems to go to the Super Bowl every year.

A move to Foxborough might set Brown up for a chance to get back at the Steelers in the postseason; Pittsburgh was unwilling to entertain trading Brown to the Patriots this offseason for just those reasons. It would be, frankly, a quintessential Belichick move.

"He goes to New England for one year, $3M," one AFC exec said. "Take it to the bank."

"This has Bill (Belichick) written all over it," one GM suggested.

Whether or not the Patriots would want impressionable receivers like Harry, and the long-troubled Josh Gordon, around Brown everyday in the receiver's room remains to be seen. But outlandish antics from a receiver didn't scare him off Randy Moss or Chad Ochocinco, for starters.

Brown's path from Pittsburgh to New England

From incidents with the Steelers to forcing a trade this past offseason to helmets and cryotherapy and retirement threats and more, it's been an eventful year for Antonio Brown. We break down the entire timeline here.

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