New England Patriots: 5 NFL careers even Bill Belichick couldn’t save

New England Patriots Josh Gordon Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
New England Patriots Josh Gordon Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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New England Patriots
New England Patriots Antonio Brown (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick has a pretty nice resume of resurrecting NFL careers.

Whether it is talented players with off-the-field issues like Aqib Talib or NFL superstars who just need a dose of motivation to revive their stardom like Mandy Moss and Corey Dillon, Belichick’s mentorship as a head coach has been highly praised.

With his tough, hard-nosed, no nonsense approach, Belichick isn’t for everyone.  But he is also a coach who doesn’t shy away from giving players a second chance.  In some, cases a third or fourth chance.

In this list, we explore players at different levels of their NFL career that even Belichick couldn’t save.  In most of these cases, the Patriots were their last shot at NFL revival.

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Antonio Brown only lasted one game as a member of the New England Patriots

Bill Belichick shocked the NFL when the Patriots decided to sign the talented, but controversial Antonio Brown at the beginning of the 2019 NFL season.

At the same, the move made sense as Brown was joining Tom Brady’s arsenal at the time that included Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon.

With all his off-the-field baggage, the 1-year, $15 million contract given to Brown after his release from the Las Vegas Raiders seemed like one of those classic Belichick moves where someone else trash turned into absolute treasure.

Not to call Antonio Brown’s talent trash, but his legal issues at the time really made him one of the biggest risks Belichick has ever taken.

In taking a little heat in signing Brown, his one-game debut with the Patriots had fans drooling and Brady smiling as the All-Pro receiver looked every much like the part with 4 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown in his only appearance in a Patriots’ uniform.

The move was trending in a positive direction for the team and the player until Brown’s legal issues got in the way leading to the team cutting him just a week later.

Now, Antonio Brown did go on to win a Super Bowl with Tom Brady down in Tampa Bay and appears free from the legal issues he was dealing with, but he starts off this list because even Belichick couldn’t stop Brown from sabotaging his career.

In short, the Tom Brady-to-Antonio Brown dream was nice while it lasted…in Foxboro anyway.