Week 1 of the NFL season is in the books.
After months of waiting, the first week delivered on the hype and provided us with some great games and story lines. In the game of the week, Monday Night Football featured a terrific back and forth contest between the Saints and Texans.
However, the biggest story from Week 1 involved a player who didn’t even take the field. After months of turmoil and craziness, Antonio Brown was finally released by the Raiders, only to be picked up by the Patriots minutes later. Was there something fishy and questionable going on behind the scenes between Brown and the Patriots? Absolutely. But that is a discussion for another day, and we may never know the truth.
For now, all we know is that the undisputed best team in football just gained one of the best receivers of all time. Antonio Brown, as long as he is even mostly what he was the last few years, takes the Pats from title favorites to the penciled-in champions.
However, as we know, nothing is for certain, especially in the unpredictable NFL. Will Antonio Brown make the Pats unstoppable? Will he blow up the locker room with his crazy loud outbursts? Will he ever win a ring with New England?
Side 1: Yes, Brown Will Get a Ring with the Patriots
For this to be true, Brown really just needs to stay on the team. At just 31 years old, Brown has a lot left in the tank. If AB remains focused, and produces at even just 50% of what he did with the Steelers, New England will be absolutely unstoppable and will likely win a title in the next two or three years.
As we discussed on the debate last week, the Pats are a loaded team, both offensively and defensively. Truthfully, they don’t need Antonio Brown to be considered Super Bowl favorites this year. That’s why he basically just needs to stay healthy and focused in order to ensure a great shot at a ring. If AB remains locked in and productive, he is an outstanding piece alongside reigning Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman and troubled receiver Josh Gordon, who already caught a touchdown in Week 1.
Brown and Gordon are incredibly important to New England this season. With both of them healthy, Tom Brady is loaded with weapons and you can almost guarantee the Pats will be playing in Miami in February. If one or both of them gets suspended, injured or released, the Pats are suddenly thin at receivers and could be susceptible to an upset in the playoffs.
Most importantly, Brown seems to be excited to be in New England. In addition to reports that he wanted to play there, he was already spotted hanging out with Brady shortly after it was announced that he would sign with the Pats. We all knew he never wanted to be in Oakland and never wanted to play a game for the Raiders. He clearly did not want to be in Pittsburgh either. Now that he seems to have found a happy situation, Brown will make the Pats nearly unstoppable and he will get a ring with them in the next two years.
Side 2: No, Brown Will Not Win a Ring with the Patriots
The stance above outlines an ideal scenario where Brown is happy, remains extremely productive, makes the Patriots offense unstoppable, and wins a ring in New England. For that to fail, literally anything else has to happen. That includes any team but New England winning the title this year. The odds are stacked against him and the Pats.
Also, that is assuming he will remain on the team. That’s a huge assumption. As we know, the Patriots are a no-nonsense team. From the Pats perspective, this is basically a no-risk deal. They didn’t give up a single asset to get AB. In fact, it was recently reported that New England was actually considering giving up a first round pick for Brown months back. The Steelers, being the Pats rival, were not going to give him up to the Pats, so they traded him to Oakland for 3rdand 5thround picks. After Brown got released, before he ever took the field for the Raiders, the Patriots snatched him up for nothing. If Brown misbehaves at all, the Pats can release him immediately at basically no loss.
As we’ve seen the last 10 months or so, this dude is absolutely insane. It’s also been reported that AB was purposely acting up in order to expedite his release from the Raiders. Even if this is true, his acts with Pittsburgh before his trade were downright crazy and ripped the team apart. He fought with both Ben Roethlisberger and Juju Smith-Schuster. He also recorded Coach Mike Tomlin in the locker room and posted the video to social media, among many other things.
And now, as if there wasn’t enough news about him, Brown has just been accused of sexually assaulting his former trainer.
There is absolutely no reason to think that this nutcase can keep his head on straight for two weeks, let alone six months. I don’t think it would surprise anyone if he was off the team by their bye week due to distractions that he may cause.
Did Brown go extra crazy to expedite his release from the Raiders? Probably. But he has also been unable to go one week without making headlines for something stupid ever since his trade. Brown is undoubtedly one of the most talented receivers in the league, and one of the most productive of all time. But he has to show he can focus and remain productive in a new situation.
In addition to all that, as mentioned above, the Patriots would have to win a Super Bowl with him on the roster. They seem to be the obvious favorites, but anything can happen. One major injury, suspension or simply a playoff loss would prevent this from coming true.
AB won’t get a ring with the Pats. The better question may be if he can make it to their playoff roster. The dude has done nothing over the past year to prove he can be a team player and help his team win. His stats were good last year but he skipped a team practice, causing him to miss the Steelers most important game of the year, a must-win week 17 game.
In addition, I don’t think the Patriots will win the Super Bowl this year. One in the next few years? Perhaps. But that’s also assuming he can stay on the team and remain productive for years down the line. For the troubled superstar, that seems to be too much to ask.
What do YOU think? Will AB ever win a ring with the Pats?
NBA expert and IU grad. '96 Bulls > Warriors. #FireGarPax