What to Know
- Antonio Brown had a tumultuous tenure in Oakland that came to an abrupt end Saturday when the Raiders granted his release.
- Brown and the Patriots reached an agreement on a 1-year deal worth up to $15 million, with $9 million guaranteed.
- The talented receiver is perceived as a risk with most recent offseason antics including a bizarre foot injury and a fight over his helmet.
Antonio Brown is Tom Brady's newest receiver after Oakland granted his request to be released, and the star receiver appears ready to help New England win its seventh Super Bowl title.
Brown and the New England Patriots reached an agreement Saturday on a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with $9 million guaranteed, Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed to the Associated Press.
The deal was first reported by ESPN's Adam Schefter and then confirmed on social media by the star receiver himself.
Brown posted a picture of himself on multiple platforms in a Patriots uniform, with the caption, "LFG #GodsPlan". His tweet was soon retweeted by Julian Edelman with the caption, "100 100 100 #Boomin".
A flury of social media posts Saturday seem to show AB is happy as the newest member of the Patriots.
Brown posted a picture of himself with Edelman holding up six fingers, writing, "Lets get 7 #WesleyandWoody #grammies" — a reference to New England going after a seventh NFL championship this season.
In the first of two cartoons posted to his Instagram, Brown is sitting on a pile of money and it says, "Business is Boomin" in the background. Brown posted it with the caption, "The Patriot Way".
The second cartoon shows Brown in a Patriots hat and a Patriots shirt with the thought bubble, "My ride is here!" as Coach Bill Belichick, wearing his usual hoodie, pulls up on a Patriots bus headed for Foxboro.
Brady now has the option to throw to Brown, Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas and Josh Gordon—another troubled receiver who is getting additional chances in New England—as well as rookies Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski and, eventually, N’Keal Harry.
Brown is not eligible to be on the Pats' roster until Monday, so he will not play Sunday night in the team's home opener against his former team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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The signing happened quickly after Brown's brief tenure in Oakland came to an abrupt end Saturday when the team announced they had cut the prolific receiver two days before their season opener. Brown had asked for his release following a series of fines and outbursts on social media and the practice field.
Brown, who was set to earn up to $50 million from Oakland over three years, appeared to be extremely happy he was cut by the Raiders.
Video posted to his YouTube channel shows him jumping up and down, running into a backyard as he yells, "I'm free, I'm free!"
Following the news that Oakland and Brown had parted ways, Brown's agent said they were focused on the future and immediately finding him a new team.
"Now that Antonio is a free agent, we are focused on the future and I will immediately work on signing him to a new team," Rosenhaus said prior to the Patriots deal. "Antonio is looking forward to a new beginning."
We now know that the 31-year-old's new beginning is with the defending Super Bowl champions, who will raise their sixth championship banner Sunday night. What we don't know is if the move will pay off for Belichick, who has a history of gambling on other teams' problems.
But Patriots fans couldn't hide their excitement when the news broke, with some saying this means game over.
"It's done. I knew it was going to happen. I knew it was gonna happen," Leon Spears said. "When they dropped him I said there is only one team he can go to where he'll be able to perform and it's gotta be the Patriots."
"I think the Patriots are going to win it now," football enthusiast Aiden Shay said. "There is no stopping Tom Brady and Antonio Brown."
"I think they're gonna be able to calm down all this other stuff that has been going on with him. He's gonna be good," fan Frensha Brown said. "He ready to get himself a ring that’s all it is."
Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro who caught 837 passes over nine seasons with the Steelers. He had 100-plus catches in six straight seasons with a career-high 15 touch downs last season.
Brown is not eligible to be on the Patriots roster until this Monday and will not participate in Sunday's home opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
A Patriots spokesman did not respond Saturday night to a request for comment.