Former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy said the Patriots’ recent decision to sign wide receiver Antonio Brown “sent the wrong message.”
“I know coaches want to win, but I’m disappointed in [Patriots owner] Robert Kraft,” Dungy said Sunday on NBC’s “Football Night in America.” “I think at some point you say, just as an organization, ‘We are not going to do this.’”
Brown and the Patriots agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract Saturday, hours after he was released from the Oakland Raiders. Brown never suited up for the Raiders but still managed to make a name for himself by missing practices, incurring fines, and quarreling with management. The two parties ultimately went separate ways, but Dungy is skeptical Brown’s antics are over.
“Seeing him catch balls from Tom Brady would be beautiful, but he’s going to have to change if this is going to work,” Dungy said.
Former Patriots safety, and now Dungy’s NBC Sports colleague, Rodney Harrison said he wasn’t surprised by New England’s acquisition, although he noted his disapproval as well.
“I didn’t agree with it because, as a Patriot, you have to sacrifice,” Harrison said. “You have to sacrifice finances, you have to sacrifice your stats, you have to sacrifice a lot of individual things. And that’s the one thing that Antonio Brown has shown me, that he’s not willing to sacrifice anything for anybody else besides himself.”
Dungy agreed: “Rodney, coaching against you guys all those years, what I saw was teamwork, unity, and sacrifice. Antonio Brown has not demonstrated any of that the last two years.”
Brown can officially sign his contract on Monday.
The 31-year-old played in 15 games for the Pittsburgh Steelers last season, logging 104 receptions for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns.