Eleven days, five practices, one game, four catches, 56 yards, one touchdown, two abbreviated Bill Belichick press conferences, one civil lawsuit describing two instances of sexual assault and a rape of one woman, one texted threat to a single mother of three that included photos of her children and one nebulous statement from “A PATRIOTS SPOKESPERSON” and the Antonio Brown era is over.
The unattributed statement announcing Brown’s release says, “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”
Plenty of people in the fanbase and probably in the locker room will complain Brown is gone because of flimsy allegations, and a media witch hunt.
Neither is the case. It was the text messages he sent Wednesday night.
Threatening a woman who hadn’t made an attempt to recoup the money she alleges he owed her for working on a painting until he propositioned her while naked? A woman who only wanted to be left alone? Send a text that not only insults and threatens her but promises you’ll be having your henchmen climb into her life? And then include a picture of her children?
That, I’m told by a source, is why Antonio Brown is gone. The texts were a bridge too far for all the organization’s decision-makers. Because of that, I’m told, the decision was made that he had to go.
“Everybody got to the same place,” said a source.
Even if the Patriots had already paid the $5 million installment of his bonus they were due to pay by Monday, the team still would have released him based on those texts, the source said.
The Patriots were not aware of the allegations made by Britney Taylor that appeared in the civil suit filed just a day after Brown signed. Would they have signed Brown if they had known a civil suit that included those allegations was coming? Unlikely. But once he was under the team’s umbrella, releasing him without a criminal complaint was something the team couldn’t countenance.
But the texts that came to light Friday morning were something that occurred while Brown was a member of the team. There was no arguing they didn’t come from him. The decision to release Brown was unanimous.
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