The deal is for one-year, $15 million, Rapoport reported, with a $9 million signing bonus.
Brown's contract contains offset language, so the signing bonus he'll get from the Patriots, along with any other money earned as a player in 2019 and 2020, reduces the amount he could pursue in a potential grievance over his voided guarantees, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports.
Brown cannot play in the Patriots' season opener on Sunday night against the Steelers because he was not on the roster by 4 p.m. EST, but he will be eligible to debut with his new team -- his third in less than a calendar year -- in Week 2 against the host Miami Dolphins. According to Rapoport, via a league spokesman, Brown will not be allowed be around his teammates in any capacity in Week 1 because he is "not officially a member of the team."
This is nothing new for the Patriots, who have made a winning habit out of taking risks on standout talent that fell out of favor with former teams -- such as current Patriots receiver Josh Gordon, Hall of Famer receiver Randy Moss, running back Corey Dillon and on down the line of a history dotted with Lombardi trophies.
If all goes as planned -- which these past four days have shown is far from given -- Brown, who would hugely improve any receiving corps, will join an already promising group of Patriots receivers that currently includes Julian Edelman, Gordon and Demaryius Thomas. And, arguably the greatest quarterback of all-time, Tom Brady, will, of course, be throwing to them.
Kudos should likely go to agent Drew Rosenhaus, who earlier in the day told Rapoport, "Now that Antonio is a free agent, we are focused on the future and I will immediately work on signing him to a new team. Antonio is looking forward to a new beginning."
That new beginning will come with a franchise known for bestowing fresh starts and collecting championships.
Whereas the Raiders are left having not paid Brown any money, but having spent a pair of draft picks to spend a summer in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
What lies ahead for A.B. in New England remains to be seen, of course, but another roller coaster has started 3,000 miles from where the last one ended.