Ex-Raider Antonio Brown skips media availability after Patriots debut

Ex-Raider Antonio Brown skips media availability after Patriots debut

In an unsurprising development, Antonio Brown was nowhere to be found when the media was allowed inside the Patriots locker room after Sunday’s win in Miami.

The former Raiders wide receiver made his 2019 debut with New England in Week 2, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. 

Bill Belichick didn’t have much to say regarding AB’s performance, but said it was “good to have him out there.”

Brown has yet to speak publicly on his puzzling departure from Oakland or the sexual assault allegations against him, which were made public last week.

[RELATED: NFL rumors: Kraft wouldn't have OK'd Brown signing if allegations known]

Based on his recent behavior, we shouldn’t be expecting any direct statements from Brown anytime soon, as he did his best to avoid the media throughout his time with the Raiders.

Some things never change.

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NFL rumors: Robert Kraft wouldn't have OK'd Antonio Brown if allegations known

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NFL rumors: Robert Kraft wouldn't have OK'd Antonio Brown if allegations known

The Patriots likely aren't thrilled that Antonio Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, failed to disclose the rape allegations against the receiver before he signed with the team last week.

In fact, Patriots owner Robert Kraft wouldn't have signed off on Brown had he known about the recently surfaced accusations, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning, citing a source.

Brown’s former trainer, Britney Taylor, claims in a lawsuit that the receiver sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions. She'll reportedly meet with the NFL this week in its investigation of Brown, who landed with the Patriots after the Raiders granted his request to be released.

ESPN's Jeff Darlington also reported Sunday that Brown started settlement talks with Taylor in April, when he was with the Raiders, but he allowed the deadline to pass without signing an agreement.

The Patriots have a history of avoiding players with a history of violence against women. The team famously cut fifth-round pick Christian Peter one week after the 1996 NFL Draft, after learning more information about his criminal record involving inappropriate conduct with women.

Kraft and his son, Jonathan, had an on-field meeting with Rosenhaus minutes before Sunday’s game in Miami kicked off.

[RELATED: NFL rumors: Steelers rejected Patriots' huge AB trade offer]

It’s hard to imagine the Patriots' front office would be happy with Brown keeping the allegations under wrap, so this story likely is far from over. It appears the Raiders' front office didn't know about the allegations, either.

Despite the off-field turmoil, though, Brown lived up to the hype on the field in his New England debut Sunday, with four catches for 56 yards and one touchdown in a 43-0 win over the Dolphins.

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NFL rumors: Steelers rejected Patriots' huge Antonio Brown trade offer

NFL rumors: Steelers rejected Patriots' huge Antonio Brown trade offer

Bill Belichick reportedly has waited a long time to see Antonio Brown in a Patriots uniform, and based on the wide receiver's New England debut Sunday, it's abundantly clear why.

Brown got off to a quick start with his new team, hauling in four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in the Patriots' 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins. According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, it was the fulfillment of what Belichick long had envisioned for the dynamic receiver, as he reportedly first attempted to acquire Brown at the end of the 2018 season, before he was traded to the Raiders.

"[Belichick] was among the first executives to call about Brown 's availability when the Steelers made it clear the perennial Pro Bowler had no future there," La Canfora reported Sunday. "Initially, league sources said, when asked the price to land Brown, the Steelers requested a first-round pick plus another player or draft pick of significance."

However, Belichick's hopes reportedly were dashed by an ongoing rivalry.

"Belichick immediately responded that would not a problem," La Canfora continued, "but before he could put together any specific package, the Steelers informed him that New England was among a small group of rivals with which management was no longer authorized to negotiate with."

The desire for the receiver to be in New England reportedly was mutual between him and his new coach.

"Brown's preference from the onset was to leave Pittsburgh for the Patriots," La Canfora reported, citing sources with knowledge of the situation, "and he eventually scuttled a trade to Buffalo and then quickly wore out his welcome in Oakland to end up there on what is essentially a one-year, $10 million deal, with another $5 million in incentives and a $20 million option for the 2020 season."

[RELATED: Watch AB’s first catch with Patriots, followed by first TD]

While Belichick has a history of bringing in talented players who have otherwise worn out their welcome elsewhere, his long-term pursuit of Brown -- and the price he was willing to pay -- suggests this isn't a Hail Mary but rather an educated bet he's placing on a receiver whose talents he knows all too well.

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