Antonio Brown Released by Patriots
Antonio Brown is unemployed again.
11 days after signing with the New England Patriots, the defending Super Bowl champions decided that they had enough of the 7-time Pro Bowl WR and released him Friday. This comes 2 days after more off-field allegations surfaced this time from a Sports Illustrated report of allegations of “intimidation” by Brown from an accuser. He is also dealing with sexual assault accusations that were brought to light following him signing with New England.
“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”-The Patriots said in a statement.
It has truly been a controversial 2019 for Brown, as he began the year with the Pittsburgh Steelers, when he forced a trade after not playing in their final game due to an alleged incident with QB Ben Roethlisberger. After the Steelers unsuccessfully tried to reason with Brown, they granted his wish in March and sent him to the Oakland Raiders for a 3rd and 5th round draft picks.
Brown never played a down with the Raiders, but his off-the field issues continued as he missed practices, suffered frost-bitten feet after time in a cryogenic chamber, threats to never practice without a specific helmet and then a near-altercation with GM Mike Mayock. On September 7thhe posted on Instagram ‘Release me.’ And the Raiders granted his wish. Several hours later, he signed with the Patriots on a 1-year deal and $10 million signing bonus.
Brown wasn’t eligible to play in the Patriots Week 1 game vs. his former team, the Steelers but he made his debut in Week 2 with the Dolphins and caught 4 passes for 56 yards and a TD in the Patriots 43-0 win vs. the Miami Dolphins. The chemistry worked on the field, but Brown’s issuesoff the field began to create a dark cloud over the Patriots to the point that it clearly began to affect head coach Bill Belechick a week after downplaying Brown’s previous allegations.
Before the Patriots made their move, some of his sponsors struck first: Helmet manufacturer Xenith and this Nike ended their business relationship with Brown during the week and hours after the NFL said they would investigate Browns recent allegations, and after 3 minutes and 30 seconds of a new conference in which Belichick tried to avoid the Brown questions, the Patriots made their move to release the WR.
“Thanks for the opportunity appreciate @Patriots”-Brown posted on Twitter.
With his one-year deal, which included a $20 million option for 2020, Brown was due to receive a $9 million signing bonus, but he appears unlikely to see any of it.
“Its unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots,” Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus said. “But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves, and he hopes to play for another team soon.”
Time will tell if another NFL team is brave enough to sign Brown, or if NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell chooses to place him on the Commissioner’s Restricted List.
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