BOSTON (CBS) — Antonio Brown’s Patriots career is over after one game.
After a controversial day, the Patriots released the wide receiver from their roster.
“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown,” Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said. “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.”
The news broke Friday, just moments after Brown shared some posts on social media that indicated something was about to take place. He posted a photo of himself and Tom Brady to his Instagram page, saying, “Love ya champ that was fun ! #GoWinIt #DoitforMe” Brady commented on the photo with some heart emojis.
He also posted a farewell to the Patriots on his Twitter, account, saying, “Thanks for the opportunity,” and he also sent his thanks to head coach Bill Belichick.
Brown also shared a photo to both his Twitter and Instagram accounts, with the caption, “Sometimes people try to destroy you precisely because they recognize your power, not because they don’t see it, but because they see it and they don’t want it to exist.”
Brown, 31, signed with the Patriots on Sept. 7, hours after the Raiders released him. That release came after a summer of disruptions with the Raiders, including Brown reportedly threatening Oakland GM Mike Mayock.
A former trainer of Brown filed a civil lawsuit early last week, accusing him of multiple instances of sexual assault and one instance of forcible rape.
Brown was not immediately punished by the NFL, but the league did interview the accuser on Monday of this week. A meeting with Brown was expected to be held in the coming weeks.
In a statement Friday night, the NFL said since Brown is not on a team, he will not be placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list. An investigation into multiple allegations is ongoing:
“Antonio Brown was released today by the New England Patriots and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation. We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.
“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”
More negative attention came early this week, when Sports Illustrated reported on numerous allegations of Brown refusing to play workers in a story that included an allegation of Brown making an unwanted sexual advance toward an artist. That artist later informing Sports Illustrated that Brown sent her intimidating text messages after the story went public, with that story breaking on Friday.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter speculated that Brown’s NFL career might be over.
NFL now can conduct its investigation of Antonio Brown without any time pressure. It's hard to imagine another team would attempt to get in the way of that. So Brown's NFL career is on pause and possibly could even be over.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2019
Meanwhile Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tweeted that Brown is “looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL.”
It's unfortunate things didn't work out with the Patriots. But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon.
— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) September 20, 2019
Brown made his Patriots debut on Sunday in Miami, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. He spent his first nine NFL seasons with the Steelers, where he earned four First Team All-Pro honors and seven Pro Bowl selections.