Former New England Patriots players expressed different opinions on the signing of veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown, who inked a one-year deal with the team hours after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. According to former Patriots linebacker Willie McGinest, the Patriots pulled a fast one over 31 other teams by signing the talented Brown, whose on-field accomplishments were often overshadowed by his off-field antics and controversies.

“That’s playing chess while others are still playing checkers,” McGinest wrote in the comment section of the NFL’s announcement of Brown’s signing on its official Instagram account. Brown had an eventful summer with the Raiders, who acquired him via trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played for nine seasons. After missing most of training camp due to frostbite on his feet and issues with his old helmet,

Brown was fined by the Raiders, which led to a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock.

Then, the Raiders imposed more fines on Brown due to conduct detrimental to the team. After the Raiders voided the guaranteed money on Brown’s contract, he asked for his release. After it was granted, Brown signed a one-year deal with the Patriots worth $15 million, with $9 million in guaranteed money. Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller also weighed in on the development, calling Brown “mastermind” for joining the Patriots.

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Moss, Bruschi speak up on Brown’s signing

Contrary to McGinest’s opinion, fellow former Patriots Randy Moss and Tedy Bruschi expressed some reservations about the team’s decision to sign Brown. “My question to Antonio Brown, I thought it was always about the money, I didn’t think it had to do with football,” said Moss, whose move to the Patriots was always being compared with Brown’s. The Patriots traded a fourth-round pick to the Raiders for the troubled Moss in 2007.

That season, Moss caught a career-best 23 touchdown passes for the Patriots. Moss said now that Brown is with the defending Super Bowl champions now, he should stop his antics and play some football. Bruschi, for his part, said fans should stop comparing Brown to Moss. “Based on all of his activity, it’s all about himself. It’s selfish. That’s the opinion I have of his behavior up until this point,” said Bruschi. The former linebacker said Brown should prove himself worthy by changing and becoming a reliable player and teammate.

Patriots tried to trade for Brown in offseason

According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN, the Patriots tried to work out a trade with the Steelers for Brown, even offering a first-round pick for his services. However, the Steelers rejected the offer as they didn’t want to trade Brown to a conference rival. The Steelers then eventually traded Brown to the Raiders for a third- and fifth-round picks. Brown is expected to suit up when the Patriots face the Miami Dolphins in Week 2.

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