COMMENTARY: Was Antonio Brown’s controversial move to N.E. planned out?

New England patriots entering game. (Photo courtesy of SAB0TEUR)

New England patriots entering game. (Photo courtesy of SAB0TEUR)

By Garrett Kessler '21, Sports Editor

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Antonio Brown raised controversy when he was waived by the Oakland Raiders and picked up by the New England Patriots around the same time Rob Gronkowski spread rumors of a return. 

Brown, a 7x Pro-Bowl selection and 4x First-Team All-Pro, was outraged with the NFL’s new helmet safety policy. He claimed that the new helmet “interferes with his vision” after the NFL would not let him wear his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that he had worn for the past nine years. Many find it ironic that Brown would leave the Raiders over a helmet because they have been considered the “Bad Boys” of the NFL. Especially after his complaints, it seemed strange for him to go to the strict, well-run New England Patriots. 

Oddly, at the same time Brown was in the process of signing with New England, former Patriot Rob Gronkowski announced that he would un-retire and return to the Patriots. Junior Chris Caggiano thought that this was all planned out by the NFL to give the Patriots very high odds to win the Super Bowl with their veteran filled team. “It doesn’t really seem out of the question that he would have an alliance with the Patriots and Gronk(owski),” Caggiano said. “I honestly think that he was making a scene in Oakland so he could go to the Patriots who are always looking good to win the Super Bowl.”

Days after Brown was signed by the Patriots, there were sexual assault charges brought against him which raises the question: were these accusations kept under the radar so the Patriots would sign him without knowing? Quite possibly. According to NFL.com, The Patriots, along with the NFL claimed that they did not know of the releasing of the charges or of their existence before Brown signed with New England. 

Aside from all of the controversy, the Patriots have got off to a hot start going 2-0 in their first two games. They easily defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Miami Dolphins by the scores of 33-3 and 43-0, respectively. Brown made his start against the Dolphins in week 2 and made 4 receptions for 56 yards with one touchdown. Sophomore Marc Tiegel thinks that the Patriots could be legitimate contenders for the Super Bowl this year. “It will be tough to make a run at the championship without Gronk,” Tiegel said. “But Tom Brady has been proving that age is just a number, so I think that they have a shot at having a great season.” 

Antonio Brown has been the hot topic of the NFL over the last few weeks due to many problems with his personal life, as well as the NFL. All that can be said for now is that Antonio Brown and the Patriots are only going to get more attention as the season progresses.