Former Raiders receiver Antonio Brown was released by the Patriots on Friday.
Brown is facing a federal lawsuit from his former trainer, Britney Taylor and has also been accused of sexual misconduct by his former artist who he sent menacing text messages to Thursday. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick refused to answer questions about Brown's on-going off-field issues Friday, and the Patriots cut the star receiver shortly thereafter.
Brown agreed to terms with New England merely hours after he was released by the Raiders on Sept. 7. He made his Patriots debut last Sunday against the Dolphins, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.
The federal lawsuit filed in Florida and the ensuing allegations of sexual misconduct are the latest twists in an offseason that has been filled with numerous turns related to Brown. He only arrived in New England after procuring his release from the Raiders, which occurred following a helmet-related holdout, frostbitten feet and an altercation with Oakland's general manager, Mike Mayock.
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The lawsuit, first reported by the New York Times, alleges that Brown sexually assaulted Taylor on three occasions, twice in June 2017 and once in May 2018. Darren Heitner, Brown's lawyer, said his client "denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit" in a lengthy statement. Brown reportedly intends to countersue Taylor for civil extortion, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.
Raiders running back Josh Jacobs had a tremendous rookie season. If not for a late-season shoulder injury, he likely would have been named the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
The Alabama product is firmly situated as the lead back in what should be an improved Raiders offense in the team's first season in Las Vegas. The Raiders added pass-catching weapons Henry Ruggs, Bryan Edwards and Nelson Agholor in the draft and free agency, and Jacobs himself intends to be an improved receiving threat for quarterback Derek Carr (h/t Raiders Wire.)
"I worked on a lot of things that receivers do,” Jacobs said Wednesday at training camp. "Not just running-back routes, like how to get off the line, how to stack on top once you get vertical. I’ve just been working on all the little technical things that receivers do. Just trying to implement that into my own style and bring what I can to the table."
"My goal is to catch at least 60 balls this year," he added.
[RELATED: Raiders' Ruggs shows potential with wild one-handed catch]
Jacobs hauled in 20 receptions for 166 yards as a rookie, so that goal would represent quite a significant jump if attained. He certainly has the athleticism and ability to increase his reception total, but given the additional receiving talents on the roster, he might find it difficult to get that kind of volume. After all, there are only so many balls to go around.
Nonetheless, that's the kind of attitude the Raiders surely love to see out of one of their core offensive building blocks. There's every reason to expect Jacobs will improve upon his rookie season, and not simply as a runner.
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Timing sometimes being everything in life, it was almost too perfect that Nick Kwiatkoski finally got his chance to start on a consistent basis over the last seven games of last season.
Circumstance had previously blocked that possibility. A talented young linebacker with sideline-to-sideline and three-down play capability, Kwiatkoski was the victim of an extraordinarily talented Chicago Bears defensive roster that was particularly strong at linebacker.
On many other teams, he would have been a starter. In Chicago, he was a reserve.
But then came the opportunity for consistent playing time when Danny Trevathan went down with an injury in November. Kwiatkoski was inserted into the lineup. And with free agency pending and his long-range prospects uncertain, it was finally his time to show he could be counted on as a full-time starter.