Bill Belichick compares Antonio Brown situation to Patriots acquiring Randy Moss
The New England Patriots have a reputation for taking on controversial players and getting them to buy into their winning culture, and Bill Belichick had no problem reminding the media of that when asked a question about Antonio Brown this week.
Belichick was asked by Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston on Tuesday if he is concerned about Brown becoming a distraction in New England the way he did with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders. The coach gave a standard response when he said he “wasn’t in either of those places” and can’t comment on those situations, but he surprisingly brought up Randy Moss when pressed further.
Asked Bill Belichick what made him confident Antonio Brown wouldn't be as disruptive here as he'd been in Oakland or Pittsburgh. His answer, "It's the same thing you guys said about Randy Moss when we brought him in."
— Tom E. Curran (@tomecurran) September 10, 2019
While it’s uncharacteristic of Belichick to point it out, the comparison is a good one. The Patriots traded a fourth-round draft pick for Moss prior to the 2007 season after the Hall of Famer became a malcontent in Oakland, of all places. Moss was 30 at the time, and Brown is 31. Moss went on to help the Patriots put together a historic season in 2007, and he averaged roughly 83 catches, 1,255 yards and 15 touchdowns per season through his first three years in New England.
It should be noted that Moss eventually became a bit of a headache with the Patriots, and they traded him to the Minnesota Vikings during the 2010 season. Still, they got more out of him than almost anyone expected.
While Brown the potential of Brown becoming a distraction is an obvious risk the Patriots are taking, he’s also one of the best receivers in football and still in his prime. Plus, there are reasons to believe forcing his way out of Oakland so he could sign with the Patriots was all part of a master plan for Brown. Even if the Patriots get top production out of Brown for a season, the risk will have been worth the reward.