Raiders

NFL rumors: Ex-Raider Antonio Brown sent threatening texts to his accuser

NFL rumors: Ex-Raider Antonio Brown sent threatening texts to his accuser

If anyone thought Antonio brown was going to change because Robert Kraft signs his checks, it looks like they were wrong.

The former Raiders receiver has been a member of the Patriots for all of 11 days, but the focus hasn't been on football.

Brown currently is facing a federal lawsuit for sexual assault in which his former trainer, Britney Taylor, alleges Brown "forcibly raped her." Taylor met with the NFL earlier this week as the league looks into disciplining Brown over the allegations.

On Monday, Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko broke a story highlighting a number of odd and disturbing behaviors Brown has exhibited over the past few years, with another woman accusing Brown of sexual misconduct. The woman is an artist who Brown hired to paint a mural in his Pennsylvania house, and she alleges Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her, including standing behind her naked while holding a small towel over his genitals.

On Thursday night, Klemko broke another story, this time that Brown now had sent the accuser "menacing" text messages that included pictures of the artist's children.

In the group text, a person believed to be Brown, asks some of his associates to "look into her background." He then sent a picture of the artist's kids in the thread and said, "those her kids... she’s awful broke clearly."

Lisa J. Banks, an attorney for the artist, sent the NFL a letter following the threatening messages from Brown.

"Our client ... is understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her,” the lawyer wrote, via Klemko. “While she certainly qualifies as a ‘starving artist,’ she has never approached Mr. Brown, nor will she, about seeking money to compensate her for his sexual misconduct, contrary to his allegations in the text messages."

Klemko asked the man believed to be Brown in the thread if the allegations were true, to which he responded: "foh clown."

The NFL responded to the letter and set up a phone call with the investigators for the league and the artist's attorney, per Klemko.

[RELATED: AB's pattern of behavior shows Raiders made right move]

Brown spoke to the media Thursday for the first time since signing with the Patriots following his wild offseason with the Raiders that included frostbitten feet, a helmet grievance, an altercation with general manager Mike Mayock and illegally recorded phono call with head coach Jon Gruden.

Brown answered four questions Thursday, none about the allegations against him.

NFL rumors: Teams sense opportunity to trade for Raiders QB Derek Carr

NFL rumors: Teams sense opportunity to trade for Raiders QB Derek Carr

The Raiders have a new home and soon will occupy a brand-new stadium. Might they also have a new quarterback under center for the first snap of the 2020 season?

There has been rampant speculation that Las Vegas might be interested in trading for legendary Patriots quarterback Tom Brady or possibly trading up to acquire one of the top QB prospects in the upcoming 2020 NFL Draft. Should either situation play out, but especially the former, it almost would certainly mean Derek Carr would be moved elsewhere.

Carr carries a $21.5 million cap hit for the 2020 season, and it would be almost impossible to field a competitive team with that much salary allocated to a backup.

Coach Jon Gruden gave a lukewarm endorsement of the quarterback following the Raiders' final season in Oakland, but both he and general manager Mike Mayock have maintained they'll look at every possible way to upgrade the roster for the team's first season in Sin City. Whether or not that means replacing Carr is anyone's guess, but if that's the route they choose to go, it sounds as if they might not have trouble finding a trade partner.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Vincent Bonsignore reported Tuesday night that momentum is building towards teams inquiring with the Raiders about potentially trading for Carr.

Carr has three more seasons left on his current contract, so any team that would acquire him would either need to have ample cap space or send some significant salary back to the Raiders. He'll turn 29 years old next month, and one could argue he's just entering his prime after posting career-bests in passing yards, completion percentage, yards per attempt and passer rating last season.

[RELATED: Carr unfazed by questions on Raiders future, brother says]

If Carr isn't the Raiders' QB for the first season in Vegas, they better be confident they've found a better fit for the organization moving forward.

2020 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. explains his two Raiders selections

2020 NFL mock draft: Mel Kiper Jr. explains his two Raiders selections

In an offseason full of Tom Brady-to-Las-Vegas rumors, one thing is for certain: The Raiders must find upgrades at receiver and linebacker. 

With two first-round picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Raiders can do exactly that in slightly over two months. They're sure to look at the free-agent market as well, but finding instant contributors on rookie contracts is a must for a team looking to make the leap next season. 

This is especially true with the Raiders reportedly willing to offer Brady a two-year, $60 million contract.

Still, Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock can shore up their two biggest positions of need right away in the draft. That's exactly what ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. did in his latest mock draft. Kiper gave the Raiders receiver Jerry Jeudy at No. 12 and linebacker Kenneth Murray at No. 19. 

The longtime draft expert explained his selections in a conference call on Wednesday. 

"I have Kenneth Murray going there at 19, linebacker from Oklahoma, and have them taking Jerry Jeudy from Alabama at 12," Kiper said. "So you get the linebacker -- whether it's Murray or Patrick Queen from LSU at 19, then you get the receiver. I think it's CeeDee Lamb from Oklahoma or it's Jeudy from Alabama at No. 12." 

In an ideal world for the Raiders, Clemson's do-it-all hybrid linebacker Isaiah Simmons would fall right in their lap. But Kiper said he can't see that happening without a major trade from Mayock. He has the Jacksonville Jaguars selecting Simmons with the No. 9 pick. 

Josh Schrock and I, however, have Simmons going even higher at No. 4 to the New York Giants in our latest mock draft. We do agree with the positions Kiper has the Raiders targeting, but gave the Silver and Black his second options. 

While Kiper has Lamb going to the New York Jets at No. 11 and Jeudy to the Raiders one pick later, we sent Lamb to Las Vegas and Jeudy being taken by the Indianapolis Colts with the next pick. The two are that close and either one would instantly boost the Raiders' receiver corps. 

[RELATED: How Raiders' 2019 rookies are laying bedrock for success]

Murray originally wound up as a Raider in our first two editions of our mock draft, but Queen seems like he has more upside and is a better fit for the modern NFL. Murray is a fine athlete in his own regard, but Queen is much more explosive and better in coverage.

Queen's side-to-side range is what truly sets him apart. 

Either way, the consensus is out that the Raiders likely will target receivers and linebackers in this year's draft. Any combination of Jeudy, Lamb, Murray or Queen will be huge for the Raiders' rise after a seven-win season.