Antonio Brown has been a free agent for all of a few hours, and there’s a boatload of personality issues with the 31-year-old, but that hasn’t stopped Las Vegas from believing that Brown to the Patriots is a very real possibility.
In fact, that’s the favorite in the first betting line since Brown’s release from the Raiders.
Now that Antonio Brown has been released by the Raiders, which team will he play his first game with in 2019?— SportsLine (@SportsLine) September 7, 2019
Steelers 25/1 pic.twitter.com/J1Rnc5kwHo
It’s no surprise to see the Patriots connected to Brown (at least from a Vegas point of view) given both the uncertainty at the wide receiver position entering the regular season as well as Bill Belichick’s history of taking “troubled” superstars he believes could help the team. Belichick’s desire to win hasn’t stopped the Patriots from taking gambles on reported “locker room problems” such as Randy Moss, Corey Dillon, Martellus Bennett in the past, as well as recent gambles on Josh Gordon and Michael Bennett.
A Brown-to-New-England move would bolster a wideout group currently featuring Julian Edelman, Demaryius Thomas (coming off an Achilles injury), a recently reinstated Gordon, Phillip Dorsett, and 2019 first-round pick N’Keal Harry (beginning the year on injured reserve with an ankle injury).
Behind the Patriots’ 2/1 odds on Brown, the 49ers are the second-best favorite to sign Brown. It’s no secret that the 49ers are looking to add weapons around quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, and it’s believed that Brown and the 49ers had some talks in the past. Whether or not San Francisco would want to touch Brown after his disastrous run in Oakland is anybody’s guess, but there’s certainly a need given some of the weaker wideout options in San Fran.
The Packers, Cardinals, and Seahawks round out the top five in terms of betting favorites.
A reunion with the Steelers, meanwhile, was given 25/1 odds.
A seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time First Team All-Pro, the 5-foot-10 Brown totaled 1,297 receiving yards on 104 catches and a career-high 15 touchdowns in 15 games with Pittsburgh last season.