Bill Belichick Compares Antonio Brown Signing to Patriots' Trade for Randy Moss

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2019

FOXBOROUGH, MASSACHUSETTS - SEPTEMBER 08: A detail of a sign for Antonio Brown (not pictured) during the game between the New England Patriots and the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium on September 08, 2019 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

Bill Belichick does not appear too concerned about Antonio Brown fitting in with the "Patriot Way."

"It's the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in," Belichick told reporters Tuesday in his first comments on the signing. 

Brown agreed to sign with the Patriots on Saturday, hours after being released by the Oakland Raiders. The Pro Bowler's offseason has created constant headlines, beginning with his push to leave the Pittsburgh Steelers and continuing into last week when he got into a confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.

In 2007, the Patriots traded the Raiders for Moss, who at the time was coming off two disappointing and controversy-filled seasons in Oakland. Moss responded by putting up one of the best seasons for a wide receiver in NFL history while the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season. 

"We think he'll help our team, but until we start working with him—part of that is actually having a hands-on opportunity to work with a player and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop. We'll just have to see how that goes," Belichick said of Brown.

Whereas the Patriots traded for Moss during the offseason, Brown will be working to learn the playbook on the fly in New England. His arrival gives the Patriots their best on-paper receiving corps since that 2007 season, with Brown joining Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon. Brown is coming off his NFL-record sixth straight 100-catch season and has 121 more receptions than any other receiver between 2013 and 2018.

The issue here is fully one of personality and whether Brown can fit in with the buttoned-up Patriot way of doing business. He's been increasingly vocal about his desire to get superstar treatment, dating back to his criticism of Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh and continuing with his helmet controversy and subsequent behavior in Oakland.

From a talent standpoint, though, the Patriots took a one-year flyer on arguably the best receiver in the NFL. If all things go well, this could end with them hoisting a seventh Super Bowl trophy. 

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