NFL News: New England Patriots Sign Wide Receiver Antonio Brown

The New England Patriots have signed Antonio Brown. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

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The New England Patriots did not waste any time adding to their wide receiver group ahead of the team’s Week 1 game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

New England has reportedly signed six-time Pro Bowl receiver Antonio Brown mere hours after he asked for and was granted his release from the Oakland Raiders. The deal is said to be worth $15 million over one season with a $9 million signing bonus.

Brown himself confirmed as much on social media.

For those who have paid attention to the Patriots’ dynasty of the past two decades, this should not come as too much of a surprise. New England has taken on malcontents such as Randy Moss and Josh Gordon at wide receiver in the past.

Though, the rather speedy nature of this move indicates that New England was interested in Brown as soon as his release from the Raiders became official.

Unless you have been hiding under a rock in recent months, Brown’s short-lived tenure in Oakland was filled with never-ending drama. That culminated in an incident with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock earlier this week. Once the Raiders informed Brown that he had been fined north of $200,000 and no longer had guarantees remaining in his deal, the embattled receiver requested his release on Instagram Saturday morning.

Remember, this came mere months after Oakland acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers and subsequently signed him to a three-year, $50.13 million deal. This came following a drama-filled final season for Brown in Pittsburgh that centered around a spat with Ben Roethlisberger.

Despite character concern issues, Antonio Brown’s production can’t be denied. (Photo by Christian … [+] Petersen/Getty Images)

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On the field, this is an absolutely amazing get for the defending champions. Brown, 31, has been among the most-productive receivers in modern NFL history. He’s averaging 114 receptions for north of 1,500 yards over the past six seasons.

New England’s decision to sign Brown coincides with the return of the above-mentioned Josh Gordon from suspension. It gives Tom Brady two players who have led the NFL in receiving yards at some point during their careers.

It’s also going to lead to a rather interesting dynamic given that Brown could not coexist with player-friendly coaches such as Mike Tomlin and Jon Gruden in Pittsburgh and Oakland, respectively. How is he going to respond to Bill Belichick’s old-school ways?

In terms of what this means for the 2019 season, New England will run out a receiver trio consisting of Gordon, Brown and Julian Edelman. That’s going to create a tremendous amount of mismatches for opposing defenses, even after the retirement of star tight end Rob Gronkowski.

This could lead to an end of Demaryius Thomas’ short-lived career in New England. (Photo by Maddie … [+] Meyer/Getty Images)

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The Patriots have been searching for viable pass catchers throughout the offseason. That included signing veteran Demaryius Thomas mere months after he suffered a torn Achilles. New England also selected former Arizona State star receiver N’Keal Harry in the first round of April’s draft. He was just recently placed on injured reserve with multiple lower-body injuries.

It’s not yet known if this deal will impact any pending grievance from Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, directed at the Raiders for voiding the $30-plus million he had in guarantees. That’s still a possibility. Oakland had fined Brown under the guise of conduct detrimental to the team. It enabled the Raiders to void said guarantees. The NFLPA and Mr. Brown might have a different opinion on that.

For those hoping to see Brown against his former Steelers team Sunday night, that’s not going to happen. NFL rules prohibit players from taking to the field in such a quick manner after inking a deal with a new team ahead of the week’s slate of games.

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