The AFC East stronghold held by the Miami Dolphins cheap and cheating rival New England got a lot stronger today when Antonio Brown joined them.
Hours after being released from the Raiders, Antonio Brown inked with the Patriots and in doing so makes the AFC East again, all Patriots. The question is how did Bill Belichick pull this off.
For starters, Brown was a pain in the rear end for the Raiders. The Raiders traded a 3rd and 5th round pick to the Steelers for Brown and gave him a brand new shiny contract. Brown did nothing more than sabotage their off-season.
After a run in with GM Mike Mayock, Brown issued and apology that he quickly took back after he received a fine in the $250,000 range and had his guaranteed money stripped from his contract. He asked for his release today and the team obliged. Within hours, he was a Patriot.
Hours. Hours. Let that sink in for a minute. He didn’t visit any other teams, didn’t apparently inquire about other teams, just signed by the Patriots. That tells me that his agent was working the backdoor channels to the biggest cheat in NFL history. If I were the Raiders I would hire an investigator. Petition the NFL. Anything. Something.
The reality of all this is that no other team would have touched him. No other coach would handle him to the point that if he became a disruption he would be gone in a heartbeat. The reality of all this is that despite the fact Brown is the best wide receiver in the NFL, he isn’t guaranteed a Super Bowl. He isn’t guaranteed to be happy.
The Dolphins now get to face Brown twice a year and that means that Xavien Howard will have more opportunity to chase down Tom Brady passes.
Brown could be a big signing for the Patriots or the volcanic disruption that implodes the locker room. For fans of the AFC East, we hope it is the latter. They found similar success in the past with Randy Moss who left Oakland for the Patriots where he found a lot more success. Maybe this is a pattern.
At least the Miami Dolphins are rebuilding because obviously the Patriots are afraid of them.