Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots certainly did not want to discuss the addition of wide receiver Antonio Brown on Sunday night, but they can no longer avoid the topic. As of Monday afternoon, Brown is officially a member of the six-time Super Bowl Champion Patriots, and he is eligible to appear in week two's game against the Miami Dolphins. Belichick is about to be fielding dozens of questions about his new wide receiver.
The Patriots announced that Brown had officially signed his contract with news on the team website, paving the way for his debut as part of this high-powered offense. Also, the team also waived former Oakland Raiders defensive back Obi Melifonwu, who signed with the Patriots in 2018.
With his signing official, Antonio Brown can now enjoy a significant pay raise considering that the Oakland Raiders didn't hand him a single dime for the few months that he spent in the Bay Area. He will spend the 2019 season on a one-year, $15 million deal that includes a $9 million signing bonus and serves as an audition of sorts. If the Patriots are happy with his output and attitude, they can activate an option on his contract that will pay him $20 million in 2020.
Of course, if Sunday Night Football was any indication, the Patriots are not in desperate need of his services. This passing attack led by Tom Brady was wildly productive during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, completing 66.7 percent of his throw for 341 yards and three touchdowns with zero interceptions. His chemistry with Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, and Phillip Dorsett was unquestioned.
The Patriots may not need Brown at this exact moment, but there is no denying that he has to find success in New England. After his much-publicized departure from Oakland, there are many questions about Brown's mental state and his ability to fit in a locker room. Considering that the Patriots are a very tight-knit group that strictly adhere to the Patriot Way, this only means that there will be extra attention on him.
Is Brown going to refrain from taking shots at his former team on social media, and will he run the correct routes during games? The answer is undetermined, but how he proceeds will go a long way toward cementing his future with the Patriots.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss once left the Raiders after a terrible stint in town and landed with the Patriots on a one-year deal. He proved to be extremely effective and helped lead New England to a 16-0 season in 2007. Can Antonio Brown do the same?