Unless you have been living under a rock, you know that Antonio Brown’s time with the Oakland Raiders is over.

Really, it ended before it had even started as the Raiders decided to release Brown just hours after fining him $215,073 for conduct detrimental to the team, which reportedly voided him $29.125 million guarantee.

Once that guaranteed money was gone, Brown wanted out. So much so that he took to Instagram taunting the team to release him.

Well, he got his wish, but he didn’t seem too upset that he was released and a free agent once again.

 

Brown’s release will leave behind a $1 million dead cap hit for this year, but the Raiders will be credited it back in 2020 since the workout-based bonus was never paid out. In fact, Brown actually paid the team to be with them as he left the team earning -$269,023.

The 31-year old didn’t need to clear waivers so he was free to sign with any team as an unrestricted free agent. However, he wasn’t waiting too long for an offer as the New England Patriots offered him the league minimum for a veteran of $15 million for a one-year contract with a $9 million signing bonus according to reports.

New England play the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown’s first team, on Sunday night, but the wide receiver will not be eligible to play because he was not on the roster as of 4pm on Saturday.

If you remember, the other day I speculated that if Brown was released that the only team that could potentially handle him was the Patriots, and it seems to have come true. Does this mean he will fall in line and be a team player? Only time will tell but he still is only out for himself.

But I want to play devils advocate right now because it seems to be a little suspicious that the Patriots picked him up pretty quickly.

I know, he is one of the top receivers in the NFL, but with all the drama over the last few weeks and months, it is surprising that it happened at all.

So, here is what I believe could have happened, and I have proof that it actually did, so hear me out.

This past week, after Brown and Raiders GM Mike Mayock had a run in, there were reports that the team was going to suspend Brown and potentially look at their options in releasing him. He was even asked to stay away from the team on Thursday. Then on Friday he emotionally apologised to his teammates for what was going on. It then seemed like he wouldn’t be suspended and would suit up for Monday’s game.

You know that teams were having internal discussions at that time about Brown and if they would go after him if he came available.

So, what if Bill Belichick said they would go after him and the word got out to Brown’s camp on Friday? Could that have swayed Brown to get out of Oakland? He would have a better team around him, a better quarterback and a chance at winning a Super Bowl championship.

If so, it would be tampering.

Or, could this have been Brown’s plan all along to get himself to the Patriots? If it was, he left a lot of money on the table with the scheme.

Still, it is surprising that Belichick is going to take the former Raider, for the last six-months anyways, who has had drama with social media posts that helped to get him released. Especially since the Patriots are notorious for being against that same behaviour.

There is no doubt that Brown is a very good and productive player on the field. Well, except with the Raiders where he ended his tenure with no catches, no yards, no touchdowns, no money made. But he did have 12 missed practices, three fines, an illegal helmet, four tantrums, two frozen feet, multiple call outs on social media and a fight with the GM that included a racial slur.<?p>

Over his career though, he has had six consecutive seasons of over 1,284 receiving yards and at least eight touchdowns. He led the league in scoring last season with 15 and added 1,297 yards on 104 catches.

The move will boost the receiving corps on the Patriots, as long as Brown gets what he wants. If Brown doesn’t prove he is a team player and does not survive with the Patriots, it is unlikely any other team will give him another chance.

Basically, it is time for Brown to shut up and let his play do all the talking for him.