Patriots

NFL Notebook: Antonio Brown’s contract says all in Moss debate & more thoughts, plus predictions

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Quite a Saturday when the Patriots sign Antonio Brown about an hour before I was due to be in a wedding, so here are some more thoughts.

Yes, Antonio Brown is better than Randy Moss when he was acquired by the Patriots — and Brown's reported contract tells you the Patriots think that too.

I posted that on Twitter and people lost their collective minds. Thankfully, someone like Damien Woody backed me up (Did I ever tell you how good of an offensive lineman he was? He's good-looking too.)

I know hindsight is a hell of a drug — I get it all the time — but some people need a history lesson on Moss when he arrived in New England, and forget about what he did with the Patriots (it doesn't pertain to this discussion — you can't use it).

Moss shot his way out of Minnesota, then shot his way out of Oakland (sounds familiar). Moss hadn't caught more than 60 passes or posted more than 1,005 yards in the three seasons before he came to New England. People really wondered whether he had anything left in the tank.

Brown has posted at least 101 receptions, 1,284 yards and eight touchdowns in his previous six seasons. Those are his baseline numbers. Not an average. The minimum.

Moss was a five-time Pro Bowler and three-time first-team All-Pro before New England. Brown is a seven-time Pro Bowler and has been named first-team All-Pro four times (second-team once) in one less season than Moss.

Then there's the contract — and we really need to see the details of it before judging this move, because I still don't get how the Patriots have guaranteed him $9 million in a signing bonus (worth up to $15 million guaranteed).

If those numbers are in the realm of reality — we'll see, agent Drew Rosenhaus could have been less-than-truthful with his client to get him to do what's in his best interest — that pretty much ends the debate on who was the better disgruntled receiver when they arrived with the Patriots.

The Patriots tore up Moss' contract that had two years and about $20 million remaining. Moss agreed to take a one-year deal with a $500,000 signing bonus, a base of $2.5 million and another $1.75 million in incentives.

That screams: We don't know how much you have left either, but let's find out together.

If Brown is anywhere near $9 million guaranteed, that says: You're damn good but we don't overpay receivers and we don't have much cap space in any event.

So, please, spare me the recency bias and hindsight when it comes to Moss. He was looking to have his career resuscitated in New England; Brown is at the peak of his vast powers on the field (off it is a different discussion).

Speaking of which...

Brown is a multi-faceted offensive weapon. Moss was a two-trick pony.

Put contracts and numbers aside. Brown does more within an offense than Moss ever did. That's not even up for debate.

Take a look at these routes that Brown ran last year in two games that he dominated against two very good playoff teams — the Saints and the Chargers.