The New England Patriots were able to land Antonio Brown quickly after the Oakland Raiders parted ways with him on Saturday. Brown, one of the best receivers in the NFL, signed a one-year, $15 million deal to join the Patriots and bolster what now looks like a very strong receiving corps.
The Patriots' interest in adding Brown wasn't a major surprise. And, in fact, they had interest in acquiring Brown earlier in the offseason when the Pittsburgh Steelers initially traded him, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Patriots tried to trade for Antonio Brown in March, but Steelers did not want to trade him to a rival. So instead of having to give up a pick or picks for him in March, Patriots get Brown without having to compensate another team in September.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 8, 2019
The Steelers' endgame of not wanting to trade with a rival does make some sense. After all, they are playing the Patriots in the first week of the season and could end up squaring off in the postseason, as both teams have playoff aspirations.
That said, the Patriots did make out like bandits in this one. Not only did they get Brown, but as Schefter mentioned, they gave up nothing to get him. So, they may have gotten one of the league's best receivers on a short-term deal to play alongside Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, and Demaryius Thomas. On paper, that seems like a great idea.
Additionally, the Patriots could pick up a compensatory pick if Brown lasts the whole year and leaves the team in free agency following the 2019 NFL season. That's a potential positive for them as well even if it is thinking in the very long term.
Of course, it will first be important to see how Brown is going to work out for the Patriots. He won't be eligible to play in NFL Week 1 against the Steelers, but he could get on the field in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins. That will be a storyline to monitor in the coming week.
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