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Patriots make Antonio Brown signing official, Belichick 'glad'

By Alex Butler
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown led the NFL with 15 receiving touchdowns in 2018. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI
Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown led the NFL with 15 receiving touchdowns in 2018. File Photo by Archie Carpenter/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 10 (UPI) -- The New England Patriots have officially signed All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown.

New England made the signing official Monday. The Patriots also released tight end Lance Kendricks and defensive back Obi Melifonwu in corresponding transactions. New England released tight end Stephen Anderson from the practice squad.

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"We are glad to have him on the team," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said Monday on WEEI. "We will just take it day-by-day and see how it goes."

The Patriots agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract with Brown Saturday, hours after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. Brown was not eligible to play in the Patriots' game against the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday because he was not on the Patriots' roster by 4 p.m. EDT Saturday.

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He'll face the Miami Dolphins in his first game with the Patriots at 1 p.m. EDT Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.

Brown, 31, led the NFL with 15 receiving touchdowns in 15 starts last season for the Steelers. He was traded to the Raiders in March. The Raiders signed the seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro to a $50.125 million extension after the trade. Oakland went on to fine Brown more than $215,000 this off-season for conduct detrimental to the team. The fine allows the team to void the guaranteed money in Brown's contract.

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Belichick was asked about dealing with Brown's struggles in Oakland during his radio interview.

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"Everybody is different," Belichick said. "You add a new player to your team and you look at what you need to do and you try to do the best you can to get him caught up. That's what we'll do."

Brown's new contract includes a $9 million signing bonus. Sources told ESPN and Pro Football Talk the Patriots added an option year for Brown after this season. The option is worth $20 million, which becomes guaranteed if exercised.

The Patriots are 19-point favorites against the Dolphins, according to Bovada.

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