The Antonio Brown Signing (And What It Means for the Patriots)
In a span of eight months, former Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown managed to completely burn all bridges with his former organization despite never playing a snap in the silver and black. The same problems that ended his tenure with the Steelers repeated themselves with the Raiders but far sooner than anyone thought. The drama finally culminated when Brown ran around outside his home, celebrating as he read the news that the Raiders gave in to his demands and released him. As quickly as Brown was released, he was signed by the New England Patriots to join Tom Brady and company.
While a majority of football fans despise Brown’s decision to join New England and have let him know it, the Patriots may be the only team that can contain the drama that Brown brings. After all, they’ve shown plenty times before that they can do that. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a long history of taking chances on players just like Brown who have shown that they can bring the morale of an entire football team down by themselves, by turning them into key x-factors in Super Bowl runs.
The player most relatable to Brown in this case is Randy Moss. After a couple of down years with the Raiders and a well-documented past off the field, Moss was traded to the Patriots for just a fourth-round pick. Moss quickly regained his elite status from his early days in Minnesota, just in time for a historic 23-touchdown season in 2007.
Moss and Brown were both at low points in their careers during their time with the Raiders. The former was able to break out in a high-octane New England offense, and the latter has the chance to do just the same.
Unlike Moss, Brown never played a snap for the Raiders, but his streak of outbursts that started in Pittsburgh continued and worsened after he was dealt to Oakland. The key pieces that helped Randy Moss turn his career around in Belichick and Brady are still there for Brown to capitalize on right now.
New England is coming off its sixth Super Bowl victory in franchise history, and the winning culture that surrounds the team is as prominent as ever. Brown should fit seamlessly into Belichick’s offense and give Brady the true outside threat he’s lacked since Moss’s departure. With a powerful weapon like Brown on New England's side, it's going to be difficult for any team in the AFC, or the NFL for that matter, to keep the Patriots from dominating yet again. That's assuming Brown does what he's supposed to do.
To sum it up, Brown comes into this season with everything to prove. He’s signed to a contract that doesn’t quite equal his value as a football player, and if he manages to wear out his welcome with the team who is known for turning players careers around, it might be game over for AB.
Logan Bourandas is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.