Antonio Brown is fast, but his football saga is moving even faster. Late Saturday afternoon, the talented wide receiver, released hours earlier by the Oakland Raiders, posted a picture of himself on his social media accounts wearing a Patriots jersey and hat.
Around the same time, ESPN and NFL Network indicated that Brown and the reigning Super Bowl Champions had agreed on a one-year contract.
This wraps up what has been a surreal scene out in Oakland this week, where Brown engaged in a very public spat with Raiders coaching and management over what the Raiders maintained were a number of Brown’s unexcused absences from team activities, including practice sessions, this summer.
Oakland traded with Pittsburgh, Brown’s former club, during the offseason to acquire the prolific pass catcher, but it appears he will never play a down for the Silver and Black. Instead, he’ll be donning silver and dark blue here in New England. The Patriots have yet to make this signing official, and would have to make a corresponding transaction on their 53-man roster to accommodate their latest acquisition.
Off-field drama aside, the 31-year-old Brown (5-10, 180) would immediately provide a boost to a Patriots receiving corps that has undergone a considerable overhaul this offseason. In nine previous seasons with the Steelers, whom the Patriots coincidentally host in the regular season opener Sunday night at Gillette Stadium, Brown was named to seven Pro Bowls and earned four first-team All Pro honors. He has led the NFL in receiving yards twice (2014, '17) and in receptions (2014, '15) on two occasions. Just last season, Brown was the league leader in touchdown receptions.