BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots were supposed to pay Antonio Brown the first installment of his signing bonus — a cool $5 million — on Monday. Given that they released the troubled receiver last week, the Patriots did not make that payment, according to Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio.
The Patriots cut ties with Brown last Friday, after the receiver reportedly sent threatening text messages to a woman who had accused him of sexual assault in a recent Sports Illustrated story. Brown is expected to file a grievance to get his entire $9 million signing bonus from New England, and may actually win his case against the Patriots, according to Florio.READ MORE: Nantucket Author Elin Hilderbrand To Retire From Writing Beach Reads
The move was widely expected, even though the team’s argument for not paying earned money to Brown ultimately may fail. He did not commit a “forfeitable breach” under the terms of the labor deal. Thus, the Patriots will have to fashion an argument based on, for example, Brown withholding information as to the threatened sexual assault and rape litigation from the team. The Patriots would argue that they wouldn’t have signed Brown if they’d known about the potential lawsuit, especially since it can (and did) spark an NFL investigation that could result in Brown being placed on paid leave.READ MORE: Massachusetts Surpasses Goal Of 4.1 Million People Vaccinated Against COVID-19
Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit filed by his former trainer just four days after he signed with the Patriots. The team reportedly did not know about the accusations because Brown and his accuser had agreed to keep their discussions confidential.MORE NEWS: Boston Marathon Will Return To Patriots Day For 2022
Brown played in just one game for New England, catching a touchdown in the team’s Week 2 win over the Dolphins in Miami.