Multiple teams were interested in signing Antonio Brown following his release from the Oakland Raiders Saturday, according to Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus.
“Antonio had a robust free-agent market and certainly had a lot of options,” Rosenhaus said on ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “But it was hard to compete with New England and that amazing opportunity, that great franchise, and play with one of the all-time greats, Tom Brady, and Bill Belichick.”
Hours following his release, Brown agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots. Rosenhaus, who also represented now-retired tight end Rob Gronkowski, said he knows Belichick well because of previous negotiations.
Brown is not eligible to play in New England’s season opener Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team he represented for the first nine seasons of his career. Brown can be active for the Patriots’ Week 2 matchup in Miami. He joins Julian Edelman, Josh Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, Demaryius Thomas, and Jakobi Meyers on the wide receiver depth chart.
Rosenhaus said Brown is 100 percent healthy after suffering from frostbite on the bottom of his feet at the start of training camp. Rosenhaus also stressed that Brown, despite missing several practices in Oakland, is ready to put in the work, attributing the recent drama to “bad luck and just bad circumstances.”
“Tthe Patriots are obviously a very solid, strong organization,” Rosenhaus said. “They do things the Patriots Way. They expect everyone to be accountable. They don’t make any exceptions. I’ve discussed this with Antonio. And he wants to be a Patriot. He’s prepared to go there, fit in, work hard, be like every other player on the team, do what’s asked of him, do his job and make it work. He’s honored with the opportunity and he’s looking forward to taking advantage of it.”
Brown was drafted by the Steelers in 2010, two years after the organization’s last Super Bowl title. In nine seasons in Pittsburgh, he racked up 1,000-plus receiving yards seven times. Brown led the league in touchdowns last season with 18.
“He wants to win a Super Bowl,” Rosenhaus said. “It’s a great opportunity for him to sign with a team that has dominated the football league for the past decade. It’s a dynasty. The future is now for Antonio. This is an opportunity for him to do something that he hasn’t been able to do in his illustrious career, which is win a championship. That’s what he’s looking forward to. That’s immediately the goal. That’s all he’s thinking about right now.”