Business is Boomin’ again for free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown. That’s because Brown recently came into $5 million, which he received from the New England Patriots—the settlement amount from his $9 million grievance.
Brown was released by the Patriots after playing just one game with the team in 2019 because he was accused of sending threatening texts to a woman and also accused in a civil case for rape. His contract provided for a $9 million signing bonus, half of which was scheduled to be paid three days after the Patriots cut him loose.
According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, “the settlement is notable, as some experts viewed the Patriots’ chances of recouping any money as low.” As a result, the Patriots get a $4 million credit on their salary cap. “The club [also] received a $2.55 million credit after settling a long-running compensation grievance with the late [Aaron] Hernandez,” Reiss advises.
Antonio Brown Turned 32 on Friday
Reiss broke the news of the settlement on Saturday, but it appears Brown knew the settlement was forthcoming much earlier, at least if his birthday cake is any indication:
Brown also posted a photo of himself in a Patriots jersey a few days before the settlement became public.
Antonio Still Hoping to Return to NFL
In the meantime, rumors continue to fly about which NFL team might sign Brown for the coming season.
Yet he’s still a long way from being cleared to play by the league, this in spite of the fact that he recently pleaded no contest in a Florida case, after which his attorney said that Brown is looking forward to resuming his NFL career. Most notably, there’s the aforementioned civil suit, filed by his former personal trainer, which accuses him of sexual assault and rape.
It’s clear that he won’t be returning to the Pittsburgh Steelers, however. In an interview with PFT Live in February of this year, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said: “Antonio Brown will always be a Pittsburgh Steeler in our minds from that personal standpoint. We’ll always be there to support him when he needs help, if he needs help, and that will never change. But as Antonio Brown—84, AB—the football player? No, we’ve moved on from that, and we’re comfortable with that.”
It wasn’t even all that long ago that the Steelers got out from the “dead money” that Antonio Brown accounted for on the team’s salary cap. In 2019, he took up more than $21 million on Pittsburgh’s cap, a charge that was trigged when the Steelers traded him to the Raiders for third- and fifth-round draft picks.
Antonio Brown was drafted by the Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. During his time in Pittsburgh he appeared in 130 regular season games, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards and 74 receiving touchdowns. He also scored eight touchdowns on the ground and added a total of five touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns. But for all his individual success, he has reached the Super Bowl just once, during his rookie year in 2010.
Follow the Heavy on Steelers Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!