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NFL experts debate: Grading Antonio Brown's Patriots deal and projecting his stats

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Acho on AB to the Patriots: He must be a genius of sorts (1:06)

Jim Mora and Emmanuel Acho aren't surprised by the Patriots agreeing to a 1-year deal with Antonio Brown, knowing he won't get away with some of his previous antics. (1:06)

After a wild week of uncertainty, Antonio Brown is now a member of the New England Patriots. The Oakland Raiders released him Saturday, and then Bill Belichick & Co. signed the 31-year-old wide receiver to a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with a $9 million signing bonus. Brown isn't eligible to play for the Patriots in Week 1, but he could be in the lineup as soon as Week 2 at Miami.

How did the Patriots fare in the deal? How does AB fit in with a receiving corps that already includes Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon? We asked our panel of NFL insiders to weigh in:


How do you grade this deal for the Patriots?

Jeremy Fowler, national NFL writer: B+. This is a classic Patriots move to offer a landing strip to a baggage-laden playmaker while leveraging a system that makes five-star talent available at three-star prices. This will probably work. But Brown is the car wreck nobody can turn away from, and that comes with a cost.

Dan Graziano, national NFL writer: A. We have to see the details of the deal before we know for sure, but there's no way Belichick gave this guy a contract he can't get out of if Brown flakes over a helmet or a fine or frostbitten feet. This is pure upside, and the Patriots just got one of the absolute best players in the league for an Adam Humphries/Jamison Crowder price.

Jason Reid, The Undefeated senior NFL writer: A++. Look, I don't even care about the contract terms. Based on the Patriots' recent history and all of those Lombardi trophies they own, let's just assume they're covered in the event of future foolishness. Here's all you need to know: Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, now gets to team with the NFL's best receiver. Is there risk associated with all of this? Well, yeah, obviously. But you can't underestimate the potential payoff for New England.