Despite what you’ve heard, Antonio Brown very much wants back into the NFL, and he wants it to happen soon.
According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Brown is hoping to have his off-field issues and investigations resolved within the next few weeks. He will wait until that happens to sign with a new team to ensure that he knows he will be able to play immediately, but is eager to clear things up as quickly as possible.
Brown is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault from a civil suit, which the NFL is investigating under its personal conduct policy. The report states that NFL investigators expect to speak with Brown, even though he’s a free agent.
In the immediate aftermath of his release from the New England Patriots, Brown claimed he was done with the NFL. Few believed that, and sure enough, now that some time has passed, he clearly wants to play again. Nobody will take a chance on him until the ongoing investigations are over, and no matter how much he wants those expedited, it’s not really up to Brown.
- Antonio Brown
The New England Patriots moved on from Antonio Brown due to off-field concerns after he was with the team for less than two weeks, but the star wide receiver believes it would be a smart business decision for Bill Belichick to bring him back.
Brown was answering some fan questions during an Instagram live session on Wednesday when the topic of the Patriots came up. He said they “still gotta pay me, so they might as well let me earn it.”
Antonio Brown: “[If] you guys follow the Patriots, tell them to call me. They still gotta pay me, so might as well let me earn it.” pic.twitter.com/5NP2sQzyC3
— Michael Hurley (@michaelFhurley) October 9, 2019
It goes without saying that Robert Kraft disagrees. Brown is going after his guaranteed money with both the Patriots and Oakland Raiders, and there is some belief that the Pats will eventually have to pay him. However, Kraft would probably rather hold onto the money and make Brown chase it through the court system than give it up simply because he lost a grievance with the NFLPA.
The Patriots will likely point to the fact that Brown knew a sexual assault lawsuit could be filed against him and did not disclose it to the team before they signed him. The text messages he sent to the second woman who accused him of sexual misconduct also may have been a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. But whether an arbitrator rules that the Patriots have to pay Brown or not, they are not bringing him back.
The 2019 NFL regular season is now nearing the quarter mark (if you can believe that) and injuries are beginning to mount across the league. In fact, quite a few of the injuries are significant and season-altering, so an added emphasis will soon be placed on remaining free agents.
But which free agents stand the greatest chance of making a big impact down the stretch? We’re glad you asked. Let’s take a look.
5. Eric Berry, safety
Is the Eric Berry story over? After battling his way back from cancer, injuries once again took a toll on the talented safety, limiting him to just three games over the past two seasons — a major reason why the 30-year-old remains on the free agent market. However, Berry has not indicated that he’s going to retire and he did draw a little interest throughout the offseason. Now, as teams suddenly find themselves in need of savvy veteran talent to fill holes as injuries mount, Berry could become a potentially hot target yet again. So long as his foot/ankle issues are no longer of concern, the book is not yet closed on Berry’s remarkably inspiring career.
Both the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots found Antonio Brown to be in breach of his contract and voided his guaranteed money after releasing him, but the star wide receiver is determined to make both teams pay him.
Brown is planning to file a total of eight grievances and appeals against the Patriots and Raiders, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. He is seeking more than $60 million in total, including the $29 million guaranteed that his Raiders contract included and the $9 million signing bonus he was supposed to get from New England. Brown is also seeking to have the Patriots pay him $20 million for the team option they had on his contract for 2020.
Brown’s ninth appeal could come against the NFL if he is eventually suspended, which seems likely. That would make him the first player to ever file nine appeals stemming from the same season.
It seems unlikely that the Raiders or Patriots will have to pay Brown, as they could argue he was in breach of the terms of his contract in a number of different ways. Brown intentionally forced his way out of Oakland, and his antics during training camp could easily be viewed as conduct detrimental to the team. The Patriots will likely point to the fact that Brown knew a sexual assault lawsuit could be filed against him and did not disclose it to the team before they signed him. The text messages he sent to the second woman who accused him of sexual misconduct also may have been a violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
Even if Brown is somehow successful in one or more of his grievances against the Patriots, many believe owner Robert Kraft will make Brown take further legal action in order to get his money. Brown took a shot at Kraft during one of his recent social media rants, which probably did not sit well with the 78-year-old.
- Antonio Brown
The New England Patriots will likely have to pay Antonio Brown his signing bonus, according to one report.
Brown was released by the Patriots on Friday, Sept. 20, 11 days after signing with the team. Brown’s deal was a one-year contract worth up to $15 million. There were $10 million in guarantees, with nine of that coming through a signing bonus divided into two payments. The first signing bonus installment was set to be paid on Monday, Sept. 23, and the Pats did not pay it.
Brown is planning to file a grievance over the signing bonus money, and Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson believes the team will have to pay it.
Robinson says five sources with whom he spoke said they believe the Patriots will have to pay it. There is specific language in the CBA that states stipulations for which a signing bonus payment can be forfeited. Article 4, Section 9 of the CBA outlines those four cases:
(a) Forfeitable Breach. Any player who (i) willfully fails to report, practice or play with the result that the player’s ability to fully participate and contribute to the team is substantially undermined (for example, without limitation, holding out or leaving the squad absent a showing of extreme personal hardship); or (ii) is unavailable to the team due to conduct by him that results in his incarceration; or (iii) is unavailable to the team due to a nonfootball injury that resulted from a material breach of Paragraph 3 of his NFL Player Contract; or (iv) voluntarily retires …
Brown reported, was not incarcerated, did not have a nonfootball injury, and did not voluntarily retire. His release did not fall under any of those categories. He was really released for reportedly making owner Robert Kraft furious with his harassing text messages.
The Patriots reportedly believed they would be able to avoid paying the bonus due to a representation warranty clause they put in the receiver’s contract. However, past arbitration has shown arbitrators believe the CBA rules supersede any contract a team signs a player to, meaning Brown would likely win a grievance.
The Patriots could have used the argument that Brown failed to disclose his lawsuit, however, they allowed him to play in Week 2 even after the lawsuit was filed, indicating that was not a problem for the team.
Brown recently said he is done playing in the NFL and ripped Kraft in a tweet. He would be due $9 million in a bonus.
Baker Mayfield zinged Antonio Brown with a perfect Instagram comment in response to a hater.
Mayfield posted a throwback photo on Instagram Friday to his days as an Oklahoma Sooner. His caption intended to point out the path he’s overcome: “just some undersized Walk On… Keep that same energy.”
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) on
With social media being the way that it is, a hater commented on Mayfield’s post and told the Cleveland Browns quarterback to “Win football games. That speaks louder than these AB’ish style posts …”. Mayfield’s response? “you’re right… let me call out my teammates and throw a fit about my helmet then go freeze my feet off.”
Baker vs AB
Baker Mayfield takes a shot at Antonio Brown on Instagram pic.twitter.com/hRHoFOTNsH
— Sports Flex Blogs (@SportsFlexBlogs) September 27, 2019
Goodness, that’s why we love Baker. The guy doesn’t hold back whether he’s on the field or off of it.
Fans don’t allow you an inch these days. It’s especially bad for the Browns after there was all this offseason Super Bowl hype and they’ve started out just 1-2. Mayfield has a lot of work to do to live up to his promise.
Antonio Brown is trying to recoup money from the New England Patriots, but he may not be done with the Oakland Raiders, either.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN, the NFLPA is still working through possible grievance scenarios against the Raiders. Brown and the union may look to recoup some combination of his fines, his unpaid Week 1 salary, and his unpaid base salaries and signing bonus.
NFLPA working through scenarios for an Antonio Brown grievance against the Oakland Raiders, per source. Among items under consideration to try to recoup: Three fines, unpaid Week 1 salary, base salaries of $14.625/$14.5 million and $1M signing bonus.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) September 27, 2019
Brown is already trying to get the guaranteed money he was to receive from the New England Patriots, and reporting indicated he has a good chance of succeeding. That could just be a prelude to litigation against the Raiders, which would likely be more complicated considering the various fines levied against him while with the organization.