Antonio Brown is one of the most talented wide receivers of his generation. But can he fit in culturally in a New England Patriots organization that frowns upon the type of off-the-field antics that ran him out of Oakland?
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, addressed that concern Saturday night during an appearance on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.”
“I’ll just tell you that the Patriots are obviously a very solid, strong organization,” Rosenhaus said. “They do things the Patriots Way. They expect everyone to be accountable. They don’t make any exceptions. I’ve discussed this with Antonio. And he wants to be a Patriot.
“He’s prepared to go there, fit in, work hard, be like every other player on the team, do what’s asked of him, do his job and make it work. He’s honored with the opportunity and he’s looking forward to taking advantage of it.”
Mere hours after the Raiders released him Saturday afternoon, ending a tumultuous tenure with Jon Gruden’s club that lasted just six short months, Brown agreed to terms on a reported one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots that included a $9 million signing bonus.
“Antonio had a robust free agent market and certainly had a lot of options,” Rosenhaus said on “SportsCenter.” “But it was hard to compete with New England and that amazing opportunity, that great franchise, and play with one of the all-time greats, Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.”
Brown’s focus, Rosenhaus said, is on winning what would be the first Super Bowl title of his 10-year NFL career. The 31-year-old wideout lost Super Bowl XLV to the Green Bay Packers as a Pittsburgh Steelers rookie in 2010 and has not advanced past the AFC Championship Game since.
“It’s a great opportunity for him to sign with a team that has dominated the football league for the past decade,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s a dynasty. The future is now for Antonio. This is an opportunity for him to do something that he hasn’t been able to do in his illustrious career, which is win a championship. That’s what he’s looking forward to. That’s immediately the goal. That’s all he’s thinking about right now.”
The earliest Brown can make his Patriots debut is in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. Per NFL free agency rules, he is ineligible to play Sunday night when New England opens the regular season against his former team, the Steelers.