NFL journalist Chris Lierly makes the case that adding Antonio Brown to the Patriots makes New England the favorites to win the 2020 Super Bowl.
Although no one probably wants to admit it, the Patriots have been a contender for Super Bowl LIV champions since they won their last ring, regardless of how old Tom Brady is getting.
There were glimmers of doubt upon the retirement of Rob Gronkowski, but never really enough to knock them out of discussions entirely. Such is the sad truth. Unfortunately, for Patriots haters, it gets worse. With their most recent acquisition, the Patriots have not only become a real possibility, but are now the favorite to stomp their way through all of the playoffs. In a game-changing move, the Patriots have now signed Antonio Brown.
The 2019 playoffs were a time of wild hopes from many stellar franchises. Drew Brees was so close to another Super Bowl he could taste it, and was, from many perspectives, robbed of his rightful position there. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were also everything but there, and it even appeared to be a serious possibility that the Chiefs would stop the Patriots from making the Super Bowl at one point. But alas, those dreams were shattered.
After that, the talk was all about how the Rams would be the next champions and that they, in conjunction with the 2018 Eagles victory, would officially bring to an end the Patriots reign of terror. That illusion died with the Rams racking up a whopping three points in the Super Bowl.
The moral of it all was that the Patriots cannot be counted out until they are officially out of contingency, no matter how much greater any other team may appear. Now the Patriots have picked up Antonio Brown, undeniably one of the greatest wide receivers in the NFL. It is important to say here, that there are those who will disagree and make assertions about Antonio Brown. Most of these are either hyperbolic or outright lies.
That reaction is because of a funny little thing about sports where, when public opinion sours on a top player, their estimated value dwindles simultaneously.
Take the Golden State Warriors, for example. Kevin Durant was one of the best players in the league, and people got mad when he left Oklahoma City and “bandwagoned” with a better team. The same irate group started to project that often forgotten obstacles, like team chemistry and locker room presence, would tear Golden State apart. The Warriors promptly won a championship. The same team and the same move with DeMarcus Cousins and still a trip to the Finals, one that was beaten by an ungodly amount of injuries and not by the Toronto Raptors or Kawhi Leonard.
Antonio Brown, like Kevin Durant, left a great team and ended up with the best one. Antonio has had a different bit of drama, much of it concerning his unwillingness to switch to a new helmet.
Do not be fooled by the helmet drama though, Antonio Brown is an exemplary football talent and will likely continue to perform at a high level. The terrible predictions about him, such as ESPN ranking him outside of their top 25 players, have been made and will probably continue to be made all the way through until he is a Super Bowl champion.
Everyone can get mad and talk about how Brown is prima donna or how Brady is aging or how much Gronkowski actually contributed. None of it matters, the Patriots will win again no matter what anyone says. Future Hall of Famer Tom Brady, with Antonio Brown, Josh Gordon, and (postseason favorite) Julian Edelman as targets, will not struggle whatsoever in the absence of Gronkowski, and, in my humble opinion, is on his way to another championship.