After a messy exit from Pittsburgh and a short-lived, highly dysfunctional stint in Oakland, Antonio Brown is taking his talents to New England.
Mere hours after being released by the Raiders on Saturday, Brown agreed to terms on a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots, according to multiple reports.
Brown’s deal reportedly includes a $9 million signing bonus.
Brown, who caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns in 15 games for the Steelers last season, confirmed the signing on Instagram.
Although his antics — which cost him $30 million in guaranteed money from the Raiders — have overshadowed his play of late, Brown unquestionably is one of the top receivers of his generation. The 31-year-old has been selected to seven Pro Bowls and four All-Pro first teams, and his 74 touchdown passes since 2010 rank second among all NFL players behind only retired Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (79).
Now, Brown joins Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Demaryius Thomas, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers and Gunner Olszewski in a Patriots receiving corps that, if all players remain available, has the potential to be the NFL’s best.
Brown will not be eligible to play in Sunday night’s Patriots season opener — which, coincidentally, is against his old team, the Steelers — so the earliest he could make his New England debut would be next Sunday on the road against the Miami Dolphins.
The Patriots must make an additional transaction to create a spot for Brown on their 53-man roster. It remains to be seen what that move will be.