Antonio Brown isn’t out of the Patriots’ problems yet, as the free agent receiver will be filing a grievance against the Patriots to collect close to $10 million, according to ESPN.
Brown’s deal with the Patriots called for him to make $10 million fully guaranteed this season – a $9 million signing bonus and $1 million salary. Brown collected $158,333 in his two weeks with the Patriots – two game checks and one roster bonus – but the Patriots released Brown three days before paying him $5 million of his signing bonus. The other $4 million was due on Jan. 15. Brown will also fight for the remaining $875,000 of his base salary.
Brown will be represented by the NFL Players Association, per the report. The union will likely argue that Brown was never criminally investigated or charged, wasn’t on a suspended or exempt list, and the Patriots had no recourse to void his guarantees. The Patriots will likely argue that Brown didn’t represent himself honestly before signing the contract – Brown was sued in civil court for rape and sexual assault two days after he signed with the Patriots – and that the threatening text messages Brown sent to one of his accusers last week gives the Patriots grounds to void and release him.
The Patriots will continue to carry salary cap hits of $5.75 million in 2019 and $4.75 million in 2020 until the grievance is settled. If the Patriots win the grievance, they will get a cap credit in 2020.
The Patriots are the second team to release Brown this offseason. The Raiders also voided Brown’s $30 million in guarantees and released him earlier this month after a string of bad behavior, including a verbal altercation with GM Mike Mayock.
Brown ranted about it on Twitter on Sunday morning, saying he no longer wants to play in the NFL.
“Will not be playing in the @NFLanymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !” he tweeted.
Brown thanked the Patriots on his social media accounts after being released on Friday, but while he thanked Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots organization, he noticeably did not thank Robert Kraft. Sunday morning, Brown claimed that he and Kraft, who was charged with solicitation in Florida earlier this year, got disparate treatment.
“Kraft got caught in the parlor AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly,” Brown tweeted.