The reining world champions inked the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, who was released by the Oakland Raiders , to a one-year deal that is set to pay him up to $15 million. By doing so, Brown is slated to feature alongside Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas in an offense headlined by quarterback Tom Brady, who is heading into his 20th season in the league.
While the new car smell of Brown's arrival (hopefully by hot air balloon) is fresh throughout all of New England, reality will soon set in and a question will come about: What are the Patriots actually going to get out of Antonio Brown?
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:
By watching him over the last nine years, there's no denying his talent. In just the past four years alone, Brown has been able to lead the league in receptions, yards or touchdowns at some point. He's enjoyed six straight years where he hasn't gone under 1,200 yards receiving and totaled a league-high 15 receiving touchdowns in 2018.
More recently, we've seen Brown Ben Roethlisberger and eventually force his way out of Pittsburgh to only to get to the Raiders, with his GM in Mike Mayock and force his way out of town yet again.with his quarterback in
Following that release, Brown has been given the ultimate reset button with the Patriots. The best case is that he turns into the second coming of Randy Moss, builds a strong rapport with Tom Brady, lights it up statistically and helps New England to another Super Bowl title. The worst cast is that he follows suit with similar actions he made in his previous stops and forces his way out of an organization that seemingly specializes in turning bad apples into something sweet.
If it's the latter, Brown's reputation in the league goes nuclear. I mean, the team that usually takes players with stocks that low are the Raiders and, well, that ship has sailed.
Luckily for Brown, there are a few possibilities that point to a successful season with the Patriots. The ultimate scenario is that he is, in fact, that second coming of Randy Moss, who caught 98 balls for 1,493 yards and an NFL record 23 touchdowns. That, of course, may be a little too lofty of expectations for Brown, but could he have as successful of a season as, say, Josh Gordon did a year ago with the Patriots before he was suspended? A projected 58 catches for 1,047 yards and around five touchdowns over a 16-game regular season is certainly on the table.
The flip side to this coin for Brown is that these things don't always work out for New England, despite the reputation that it has. Chad Ochocino managed just 32 catches for 276 yards and a touchdown during his lone season with the Patriots. The argument there, however, is that Ochocinco wasn't at the height of his powers like Brown is currently.
Defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth was a bit closer to his peak when he was acquired by the Patriots back in 2011, but his refusal to toe the company line led to his release, following a confrontation with assistant Pepper Johnson. If Brown does something along the lines of what is said to have occurred between him and Mike Mayock, you best believe Belichick will be the one driving him out of town.
But this is a calculated risk by the Patriots head coach. Brown would have never been available to New England had it not been for this fallout in Oakland. With the opportunity to bring him aboard, Belichick is relying on the Patriot Way to keep him in good standing.
For Brown, he's currently at a crossroads. If it works out, he's reputation goes through the ultimate makeover, and can cash in on a lucrative contract next offseason. If he falls off like he did in Pittsburgh and Oakland, his talent alone may not earn him a new gig.