The New England Patriots opted to make the final call on wide receiver Antonio Brown after he played in just one game with the team. Following a solid debut in Week 2, the Patriots released Brown on Friday afternoon, meaning the wideout will be on the open market for the second time in a one-month span.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport was the first to confirm the news, but it was the wide receiver himself who broke the news by posting on social media and doing so in somewhat of a cryptic manner.
Brown didn’t specifically state he was released, but by thanking the Patriots for the opportunity, it was obvious that the writing was on the wall.
Brown is currently facing sexual assault allegations which were made public shortly after he signed with the Patriots.
As far as his career goes, Brown will now attempt to find a new home, and where that will be is a big question. Another interesting topic for discussion will be his signing bonus and contract.
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Brown’s Signing Bonus Has Forfeiture Language?
With the Patriots’ decision to part ways with Brown just before the payment of his signing bonus, it’s created an interesting situation. As The MMQB’s Albert Breer detailed, the language in Brown’s contract explains what will void his guarantees.
The contract states that 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,” etc., guarantees will “null and void.”
The short answer on whether Brown will receive his signing bonus is that it’s still to be determined. But based on the language of the contract above, it could create a bit of tension between the player and team.
Antonio Brown Signing Bonus With Patriots
Brown initially signed a deal worth up to $15 million with the Patriots after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. But as NBC Sports Boston revealed, New England’s decision to part with him comes just two days before the first $5 million of his $9 million signing bonus was due to be paid.
As ESPN’s Field Yates points out, Brown’s first $5 million of the total $9 million is what was due on Monday. If he does not receive any of that signing bonus, it means BRown would then only be paid for his time with the team under contract, which Yates reveals totaled $158,333.
This means Brown has received none of the signing bonus to this point and could be left without any of it when all is said and done.
Patriots Issue Statement on Antonio Brown Release
Shortly after Brown took to social media to reveal the news that his time with the Patriots had come to a close, the team offered a statement of its own. In the short and direct comments, the organization says they “feel that it is best to move in a different direction, per Ian Rapoport.
“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.”
As far as what’s next for Brown and his career, that will be a situation worth monitoring. There has been nothing reported immediately following his release linking him to any potentially interested teams.