Antonio Brown, All Pro or Big Distraction?

Joseph Carroll, Contributor

We all have heard the news this week about superstar wide receiver Antonio Brown. All of his antics between the helmet issue, fighting with the GM, posting opinions about his fines on Instagram and even asking to be released on Instagram wore the Raiders down who had enough and released him on Saturday. Just a few hours later the Patriots signed Brown to a one year deal with a team option on the second year (most likely for cap purposes). Many have thought that all of Brown’s actions were done on purpose to get to the Patriots, the team that he always wanted to go to, but I’m not going to talk about all of those things. I will try to focus on the football aspect. Even after the reported trade of Demaryius Thomas, the Patriots receiver core looked like it was one of the best groups in the NFL. The two main stars being Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and the very athletic Josh Gordon. These two have established themselves as star receivers in the league and showed it vs. the Steelers. Young gun Jakobi Meyers also showed promise securing a catch. Phillip Dorsett who was Brady’s “Third Option” again showed his worth with 95 yards, which included two touchdowns, one which went for 58 yards where he burned the Steeler Defense. The Patriots also did this without injured first-round pick N’Keal Harry who will come back week eight. They threw for 373 yards against a top 10 passing defense last year with a lot of ease without two important parts of their offense so one can only wonder what they will be able to do with Brown. The Patriots essentially have three number #1 quality receivers in Brown, Gordon, and Edelman which means that even if one is doubled the other two will likely be in man-to-man. On the Steelers, teams could afford to double AB, but on the Pats, there will be times when he gets to go one on one with the other team’s top corner. AB has shown on a consistent basis that he can more than hold his own in these situations and he now has an upgrade at quarterback and coach. Bill’s use of running backs like White and Michel as receivers further spread out the defense and will help to open up the field for big plays. There were a lot of allegations that came out last night about Antonio that I won’t talk about as there is no way to tell who is telling the truth. Regardless, I think that the possibility of a ring will keep Brown in check and I think that he will be an all-pro type receiver if he can stay on the field, which I think he can. Both the Patriots offense and defense have been compared to some of the teams best ever and this season is looking bright for the Pats. My Prediction: Business will be Boomin come playoff time in Foxboro as the Patriots try to go on another Super Bowl run with AB.