Just eleven days into his time with the New England Patriots, Antonio Brown has been released. This all stems from the allegations of sexual assault made against Brown by his former friend and trainer, Britney Taylor, which were followed by more allegations from another woman. While there was no criminal investigation pending due to the fact that this was a civil suit (filed by Taylor), the league was still doing their part in looking into the matter. When the decision to not place Brown on the exempt list was made last weekend, the Patriots were ready to move forward with their game plan for Sunday’s matchup versus the Dolphins.
This past Monday is when the second news of another sexual misconduct incident came about from an artist who says she was hired by Brown to create a mural for him. She wasn’t filing a civil suit, nor a criminal complaint, just sharing her story about what had happened between her and the receiver. In every single press conference held by Bill Belichick, Tom Brady, or really anyone associated with the Patriots over the last few weeks, Brown was the topic of questioning and it started to become incredibly noticeable how fed up everyone was with it.
In the final minute of Thursday, September 19th, another chapter in this seemingly never ending saga hit Twitter. Sports Illustrated football writer Robert Klemko obtained screenshots of a group text message started by a contact named “Antonio Brown” sent to his accuser from a 2017 incident.
New tonight: Antonio Brown sent our source from Monday’s story menacing group text messages, including a picture of her children with instructions for his associates to investigate her.
— Robert Klemko (@RobertKlemko) September 20, 2019
The woman and her lawyer asked the league and the Patriots to step in and investigate the text messages she said to be “intimidating.”
This morning during Bill Belichick’s press conference before practice, he flat out said he wouldn’t be taking questions regarding Antonio Brown or the latest news that had come out. Of course, he was asked questions regarding Antonio Brown and was visibly annoyed. Three and a half minutes went by and it reached the point where Belichick had enough, said “I’m good, thanks,” and walked off. Based on that exchange alone, the news of Brown being released wasn’t surprising at all. The New England Patriots don’t deal with outside distractions like this.
Now that he’s been released, the question of the $9 million guaranteed signing bonus is up in the air. In his contract with the Patriots regarding his guarantees, it clearly says if Brown “’takes any action that materially undermines the public’s respect for, or is materially critical of, the Club, the Player’s teammates or the Club’s ownership, coaches, guarantees will null and void.’” Meaning, the $5 million he was supposed to receive this coming Monday might not have to be forfeited if Brown decides to file a grievance.
The Patriots released a statement announcing the release, saying:
– The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel it’s best to move in a different direction at this time.
In reality, had Antonio Brown not sent those text messages, there’s a good chance we would’ve seen him running out of the tunnel with the rest of the team Sunday afternoon in Foxboro. However, that didn’t happen. Eleven days was all it took for the Patriots to realize “the Antonio Brown Experiment” wasn’t worth the headache. Due to his own actions, Brown is out of a job again. There’s no blame to be placed on the media for just doing their job. Whether you believe in the Patriot way or not, there’s no denying that Kraft, Belichick and the Patriots have a specific way of doing things and Brown just didn’t fit the system.