As social media and the NFL universe reacted to Brown’s stunning signing with the Patriots just hours after his release from the Oakland Raiders, many were appalled that a successful franchise such as the Patriots would give Brown a chance after his classless acts over recent weeks in Oakland.
Among them was none other than former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. Dungy, who led the Colts to a Super Bowl victory at the conclusion of the 2006 season and now works for NBC Sports as an analyst, went on record as stating that he wasn’t happy with the Patriots’ decision to sign the diva receiver.
“I coached 13 years, and every year my first message to the team was, ‘We want to win the Super Bowl, yes, we want to be talented, but we have to be role models’,” Dungy said, via Michael DePrisco of NBC Sports Boston. “These kids in our country look up to NFL players and coaches, and I really think this sent the wrong message.”
Dungy didn’t just go after the Patriots — he made sure to go after Robert Kraft as he mentioned his name during his criticism of the signing.
“I know coaches want to win but I’m disappointed in Robert Kraft,” Dungy said. “I think at some point you say, ‘Just as an organization, we’re not going to do this.’”
There’s no doubt that Dungy has a point. Brown’s antics over recent weeks — especially the past week — sends a very bad message to children. Basically, Brown decided he didn’t want to live up to the contract that he signed with the Raiders so he started acting out more and more until he was eventually granted his release.
Although he was punished by having his contract voided — all $30 million of it — he found a new job — and a better team — just hours after his release.
Agent Denies AB Forced Release to Sign with Pats
Did Brown force his release from Oakland intentionally so that he could sign with the Patriots?
His agent Drew Rosenhaus, appeared on ESPN’s First Take and flat-out denied the accusations, claiming that the Patriots — along with two other NFL teams — were extremely interested in signing Brown immediately following his release on Saturday morning.
Rosenhaus also explains that Brown entered with good intentions with Oakland, but the helmet situation compounded with the team-related fines for his unexcused absences became an issue for the veteran receiver.
“It was a tough relationship from the get-go. Unfortunately we got off to a really rough start with the helmet deal.
It really upset AB that the NFL told him that he couldn’t wear his helmet. And that affected his relationship with the Raiders. Ultimately, fines were involved and it impacted his contract, guarantees and I think Jon Gruden was magnificent during this process. He really worked hard to try and salvage the relationship.
But unfortunately, with the helmet and the fines, it just didn’t work out.”
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Patriots’ History with Troubled Players Haven’t Been a Problem
The Patriots have a well-documented history of signing troubled players. The most famous of them being Randy Moss, who had previously been with the Raiders and was acquired by the Patriots — eerily similar to Brown.
Moss went on to have a successful few years in New England, including the 2007 campaign when he caught a record 23 touchdown passes while helping lead them to the Super Bowl.
However, the Patriots have also had less success with the likes of Albet Haynesworth and Chad Ochocinco. In the case of Haynesworth, he was released after just six games. As far as Ochocinco was concerned, he played a minimal role on the Patriots as they advanced to the Super Bowl at the conclusion of the 2011 season.
The Patriots didn’t send a great message to the youth by signing a receiver who acted his way out of his previous destination, but one thing is for certain — they’ll cut Brown if he pulls the same act in New England.
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