FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Antonio Brown's winding summer odyssey has officially landed him as a member of the New England Patriots.
But just how the sometimes disgruntled receiver will fit into the Super Bowl champions' culture has become the Patriots' biggest focal point in the aftermath of their 33-3 drubbing of the four-time All-Pro's former team on Sunday night.
Brown's signing was announced by the Patriots late in the afternoon on Monday.
According to Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, the receiver signed a one-year deal, which will guarantee him $9 million this season and the potential to earn as much as $15 million.
It's far short of the money Brown lost following his short tenure with the Oakland Raiders , that ended with the team voiding more than $29 million guaranteed money and releasing him.
But it opened the door for Patriots coach Bill Belichick to swoop in and take a chance on a talented player that could help take a receiving groups surrounded by questions in the preseason to one of the most formidable in the NFL.
Brown was not present in the locker room during the period open to reporters on Monday. Of the players that did talk, few were willing to talk about their new teammate.
"Friendly guy," offensive lineman Joe Thuney said. "That's all I know."
It's the latest gamble by Belichick, who has previously brought in castoffs such as Randy Moss and Corey Dillon to mixed results. Moss gave New England three straight seasons of 1,000 receiving yards and 47 receiving touchdowns from 2007 to 2009 in his Hall of Fame career. Dillion ran for 1,635 yards in the 2004 season to help New England win its third Super Bowl in a four-season span.
Without Brown, the Patriots looked every bit like a team primed to make a run at another Lombardi Trophy in dismantling the Steelers.
At age 42, Tom Brady continued to defy his age with a 341-yard, three-touchdown game, spreading the ball around to seven players. It ended preseason questions about who Brady would throw to following the retirement of tight end Rob Gronkowski and with only reigning Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman to lead a young group of receivers.
With Brown, the 11-time defending AFC East champs have two of the most athletic receivers in the league. They recently got back Josh Gordon following his reinstatement for violations of the league's substance abuse policy.
Together, Brown and Gordon give Brady proven deep threats to go along with the sure-handed Edelman in the slot.
That is, if Brown can avoid the pitfalls that caused him to fall out of favor with each of his two previous teams.
"I think people understand when you come here you can't really make mistakes or do things that can be distractions for the team," Patriots running back Rex Burkhead said. "You gotta lock in, buy in and understand it's a team atmosphere and there's goals ahead."