Antonio Brown agrees terms with New England Patriots

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Antonio Brown has agreed a contract with the New England Patriots, hours after being released by the Oakland Raiders, according to multiple reports.

Brown and the Patriots agreed to a one-year deal worth up to $15m (£12m) that includes a $9m (£7.2m) signing bonus, according to reports.

The news came on a whirlwind day in which Brown was abruptly released by Oakland a little more than 48 hours before the Raiders’ season opener against the Denver Broncos.

Patriots open their season against Brown’s former side Pittsburgh Steelers, when they will raise their sixth Super Bowl championship banner.

Brown played 130 games for Steelers in nine seasons at Heinz Field, prior to his move to Raiders.

The move capped a tumultuous week in Oakland and came just hours after the wide receiver posted a message to Instagram on Saturday morning that ended with “Release me @raiders”.

Brown became a free agent as of 4:01pm Eastern Time on Saturday and was free to sign with any team. He is eligible to play in Week 2.

“We tried every way possible to make it work,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden told reporters.

Raiders coach Jon Gruden is keen to move on from the Brown affair
Raiders coach Jon Gruden is keen to move on from the Brown affair

“All I’m going to say is it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologise, but I will tell you I’m very proud of what we did as an organisation to try. I wish Antonio nothing but the best.”

Speaking on NFL Network earlier, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said he will get to work on finding a new team.

“It’s been well-documented that it’s been a rocky road from the beginning,” Rosenhaus said.

“Unfortunately, not all relationships between players and teams work out. Everybody had the best intentions going in but it didn’t pan out.”

Brown joined the Raiders after nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers
Brown joined the Raiders after nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers

Brown’s release came less than 24 hours after Gruden said he expected the wide receiver to play in Monday’s season opener.

He was fined $215,000 (£175,000) on Friday for a confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock earlier in the week.

The conduct fine voided the approximately $30m (£24m) of guarantees in his contract, while the Raiders also reportedly would not be obligated to give him any termination pay.

The Raiders acquired Brown in a trade in March, sending third-round and fifth-round draft picks to Pittsburgh. They then signed him to a three-year, $50m (£40m) restructured contract extension. According to multiple reports, the Raiders have yet to pay Brown any money.

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