‘It’s a business’ is one of the most common clichés in sports. Most players will spend their careers jumping city to city, team to team, contract to contract as talent for hire. However, that’s not always the case, as Trent Brown made clear on Wednesday.
Brown initially played for the Patriots during the 2018 season, and was a starter on the team that won Super Bowl LIII. That spring, he signed a then-record four-year, $66 million contract with the Raiders.
However, Brown didn’t find similar success out west. “Honestly, I felt like ever since I left, nothing has gone right for me,” Brown told New England media on Wednesday. In two seasons with the Raiders, he played just 16 total games as injuries kept him off the field. “I wasn’t really feeling the place of work,” he said. “It wasn’t a good fit.”
So when Brown saw a chance to return to New England (the trade being contingent on him restructuring his contract) he knew he had to take it. “I felt like I wanted to be back somewhere where – I’ve worn a lot of jerseys in my life, but I’ve never been more proud than when I’ve put on a Patriots jersey,” Brown stated.
Brown continued to wax poetic about what the Patriots have meant to him on his football journey.
“When I became a Patriot – I’ve always loved football but I think I began to appreciate what it takes, like the actual time and effort and the sacrifices you have to make,” he recalled. “Really, it was fun to me. Some people don’t like it, but I loved it. I just think it’s where I need to be. I’m happy. I was happiest when I was there. I’ve never had more fun playing football in my life.”
What makes the Patriots so different from his other stops? According to Brown, “They let me be me. They weren’t trying to make be somebody I’m not on a day-to-day basis. They allowed me to be me as long as I came to work and put my best foot forward.”
After two rocky seasons, Brown is back in a place where both he and the team believe he can succeed. He’s on a one-year contract now, but if he performs like he did during his first stint with the Patriots, perhaps there’s a way to keep him in New England – and enjoying football – long term.
Alex Barth is a writer and digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Thoughts? Comments? Questions? Looking for a podcast guest? Let him know on Twitter @RealAlexBarth or via email at abarth@985TheSportsHub.com.