Antonio Brown is now a New England Patriot.
After a whirlwind offseason spent in Oakland that included injuring his foot during cryotherapy, a dispute with the NFL over the right to wear his preferred helmet, and numerous questionable posts on social media, the Raiders finally decided that Brown was more trouble than he was worth, and released him on Saturday.
Hours later, the Patriots swooped in to provide a landing spot for Brown, signing the star receiver to a one-year, $15 million deal that came with a $9 million signing bonus.
Brown's union with the Patriots will immediately provide a spark to the New England offense, giving Tom Brady his most explosive weapons since Randy Moss' time with the team.
Football fans were especially excited by the prospect of Brown facing off against his former team, as the Patriots are playing the Steelers on "Sunday Night Football" to kick off the 2019 NFL season. But according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk, Brown won't be able to suit up for the Patriots until Week 2, and will missing matching up against his former teammates.
Brown's release doesn't become official until 4:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. So he can't be signed by another team before then. However, rosters for all Sunday games essentially become locked as of 4:00 p.m. ET, because the league does not allow Sunday transactions. In other words, no one can sign Brown before Monday.
Essentially, Brown's absence is due how the timeline of the NFL week works — by the time his release from the Raiders became official, it was already too late for him to officially become a Patriot in time for Sunday.
It's a disappointment for those that were hoping to see Brown face off against Pittsburgh after his contentious split from the team in the offseason, but football fans won't have to wait that much longer to see how the Patriots new star receiver fits into the offense, as he's expected to be ready to go Week 2 when New England travels to Miami to take on the Dolphins.