NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's release didn't sit well with 'several' Patriots


NFL rumors: Antonio Brown's release didn't sit well with 'several' Patriots

The Patriots did the right thing in releasing Antonio Brown.

They should have done it after the first lawsuit was filed, so they deserve zero credit or kudos, but in the end, Patriots owner Robert Kraft cut bait with the mercurial wide receiver after Brown sent menacing text messages to a woman who accused him of unwanted sexual advances in a story for Sports Illustrated.

Brown, while talented, isn't worth the constant headache he causes, and Kraft reportedly "led the charge" to release him, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, believing the receiver would keep causing issues as the NFL investigates the sexual-assault claims levied against him.

While the move to cut Brown was the right one, reportedly not everyone in Foxboro saw it that way, as "several Patriots voiced their displeasure with the move," per Rapoport, noting the "positive impression" the receiver had made since he arrived.

The reported feeling inside the Patriots' locker room is in stark contrast to the mood around the Raiders' organization after they released Brown at his request two weeks ago. After an offseason that included frostbitten feet, reported retirement threats over the NFL's new helmet rule, a heated altercation with general manager Mike Mayock and fines for missing practice and a walk-through, the Raiders and coach Jon Gruden were glad to be rid of the headache and distraction Brown had become.

It's unlikely Brown will find another team while the NFL investigates the claims against him.

On Friday, the NFL interviewed the artist who claims Brown walked up behind her naked while she was being paid to paint a mural at his Pennsylvania home. The league also interviewed Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, who filed a federal lawsuit accusing the receiver of sexually assaulting her three times.

On Sunday morning, Brown went bananas on Twitter, claiming he'll never play in the NFL again and hinting that he would file a grievance against Kraft and the Patriots in order to get the guaranteed money from his contract.

The NFL has said it won't place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list while he's a free agent because there is no need to punish him while he's unemployed. With Brown a free agent and vowing never to play again, the NFL can take its time with the investigation.

[RELATED: AB's swift release highlights true nature of 'Patriot Way']

Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, claims there is interest from several teams, but until those teams know if the receiver will be allowed to play, the chances of him signing with another team appear slim.

Raiders' Josh Jacobs has lofty receiving goal in his second NFL season

Raiders' Josh Jacobs has lofty receiving goal in his second NFL season

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.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

Raiders' Nick Kwiatkoski embracing challenge as anchor of defense


Raiders' Nick Kwiatkoski embracing challenge as anchor of defense

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.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal