If at first you don’t succeed, try again.
Ryan Clark believes the Patriots should live by this adage when it comes to their tie to Antonio Brown.
New England sent shockwaves around the NFL when it signed Brown the day before its season opener, but the star wideout’s tenure in Foxboro ultimately lasted a mere 11 days. AB has been out of the league since the Patriots cut him in late September, but he’s made it abundantly clear through social media he would welcome a return to New England with open arms.
Bringing Brown back, obviously, would come with hefty baggage, but it’s a move Clark believes the Patriots wouldn’t be afraid to make.
“Absolutely, 100 percent,” Clark said Wednesday on ESPN’s “Get Up” when asked if New England should sign Brown. “Listen, we know this is a team that’s not above cheating. This is a team we know is not above doing whatever it takes. This is a team that’s not built on morality. This is a team that’s built on championships and if you can help me win a championship and you’re not in jail, they will take you. They have done that. If they want to win, if they want Tom Brady to stop screaming at his wide receivers to do things that they were not blessed with the talent to do, you go out and get this dude. You kicked the tires, you asked the NFL, ‘Will he be able to play? Will he be on the commissioner’s exempt list?’ and let him ride.”
Clark believes the Patriots should make the reunion happen ASAP, too.
“They need to bring him back Friday because this is the most important regular-season game in the history of Bill Belichick and Tom Brady being in New England,” Clark said. “You lost to Lamar (Jackson), you lost to Deshaun (Watson) and now if you lose to Patrick (Mahomes), you lost to all the up-and-coming quarterbacks and you’ve also lost to the Ravens, the Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs. None of those teams will be scared to go into Foxboro and play. If you told me which teams you have to beat to get to the Super Bowl, it’s going to be one of those three and they each will have beaten you this year.”
Most important regular-season game in the Belichick-Brady era? That’s a take.
Purely from a talent perspective, there’s no doubt Brown would provide a tremendous boost to the Patriots. But in New England, especially this time of year, the franchise heavily leans on the players it unequivocally can count on. A lack of clear-cut faith and trust might have been what sent Josh Gordon out the door. If there’s one thing for sure we know about Brown, he’s as unhinged as they come, and the last thing the Patriots need on top of their current struggles is another distraction.
As such, Tom Brady likely will have to continue trying to make it work with what he has.