Opinion: Patriots Should Look at Antonio Brown

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Oct 23, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) talk after their game at Heinz Field. New England won 27-16. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The curious case of Antonio Brown took another drastic turn on Saturday morning as the Raiders decided to cut bait and release the talented but troubled receiver.

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The final straw came after the team and GM Mike Mayock issued another fine and informed Brown that his guaranteed money was no longer that. Brown, as he is accustom to, took to social media to request his release and here we are. On the eve of the first Sunday of the NFL season, Antonio Brown is a free agent… and the Patriots should be calling.

Let’s be clear, Antonio Brown is not Randy Moss. However, he presents a very similar opportunity for the Patriots. Just like Moss, Brown would come with a lot of baggage and, just like Moss, a whole lot more talent. Brown is currently on a streak of six seasons of over 100 catches and 1,250 yards. All in all, over the last six years, Brown has 686 receptions for 9,145 yards and 67 touchdowns. Tops in the NFL.

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Antonio Brown Career Numbers
Game Game Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece Rece
Year Age Tm G GS Tgt Rec Yds Y/R TD Lng R/G Y/G Ctch% Y/Tgt
2010 22 PIT 9 0 19 16 167 10.4 0 26 1.8 18.6 84.2% 8.8
2011* 23 PIT 16 3 124 69 1108 16.1 2 79 4.3 69.3 55.6% 8.9
2012 24 PIT 13 10 106 66 787 11.9 5 60 5.1 60.5 62.3% 7.4
2013* 25 PIT 16 14 167 110 1499 13.6 8 56 6.9 93.7 65.9% 9.0
2014*+ 26 PIT 16 16 181 129 1698 13.2 13 63 8.1 106.1 71.3% 9.4
2015*+ 27 PIT 16 16 193 136 1834 13.5 10 59 8.5 114.6 70.5% 9.5
2016*+ 28 PIT 15 15 154 106 1284 12.1 12 51 7.1 85.6 68.8% 8.3
2017*+ 29 PIT 14 14 163 101 1533 15.2 9 57 7.2 109.5 62.0% 9.4
2018* 30 PIT 15 15 168 104 1297 12.5 15 78 6.9 86.5 61.9% 7.7
Care Care 130 103 1275 837 11207 13.4 74 79 6.4 86.2 65.6% 8.8
Provided by Pro-Football-Reference.com: View Original Table

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After what has transpired over the last 18 months, Brown’s career is in serious need of an intervention. What better way to do it than to go to the best career rehab facility in the NFL?

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The Patriots enter 2019 in far better shape at the receiver position than they were in 2018 but adding Brown would take it to a whole other level. Just as it would for any other team, however, the structure in New England is far better suited to handle a player like Brown. Plus, the Patriots would have all the leverage.

As most have suggested, if Brown were to have another opportunity in the league it would most likely come with an incentive-laden deal. The Patriots, like most teams, are not going to give him a market value deal, however, the Patriots can offer Brown what most teams can’t… as close to a guarantee as you can get to play for a Super Bowl. And, of course, a proven track record of rehabbing players careers in one way or another. And, as we all know, winning cures just about any ailment in the NFL.

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So, assuming Brown still wants the play, the Patriots would have all the leverage in this scenario. Under Bill Belichick and the team leadership, Brown would never be allowed to become the distraction he was in Oakland or Pittsburgh for that matter. He would likely be cut long before that happened. Remember, Randy Moss was traded after publicly voicing displeasure with his contract. Between the coaching staff and veterans on the team already, there are plenty of people to hold Brown accountable.

The bottom line is that talent in the NFL trumps just about anything. Just look at the Chiefs and Tyreek Hill. In Brown’s case, he is more a danger to himself than anyone else so the morality line would not be crossed if the Patriots take a chance. It would also come at very minimal risk for a team that has been to three straight Super Bowls and have the greatest quarterback of all-time in Tom Brady. A quarterback that seems to have a friendly relationship with Brown already.

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For most that follow the league, a wide receiver group that consists of Brown, Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Jakobi Meyers, and Demaryius Thomas catching passes from Brady will most certainly find themselves playing in Miami in February and likely winning what would be their fourth Super Bowl in six seasons and their record-breaking seventh in franchise history.

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– Ian Glendon is the Editor-In-Chief of Full Press Coverage and the Managing Editor of FPC NHL. He covers the National Hockey League. Like and follow on and Facebook.

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