Threatening texts from Antonio Brown were the tipping point for Patriots

Threatening texts from Antonio Brown were the tipping point for Patriots

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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Patriots WR coach: Antonio Brown has been 'pleasure to work with'

Patriots WR coach: Antonio Brown has been 'pleasure to work with'

FOXBORO, Mass. -- The New England Patriots offense is complex and not one that is mastered in a short period of time, even for an elite wide receiver like Antonio Brown.

Brown made his debut for the Patriots in Week 2 and caught four passes from Tom Brady totaling 56 yards. One of those receptions was a 20-yard touchdown. Despite the good start, there's still a lot for Brown to learn, and Patriots wide receivers coach Joe Judge is pleased with the 31-year-old star's effort.

"I think any player that comes here, especially early in the season after missing spring and training camp, has a great deal of catching up to do," Judge said before Friday's practice. "He's done a tremendous job. Anything we ask him to do, he works very hard on. He does a lot of work away from the building, studying. He comes in fresh, prepared the next day. He's been a pleasure to work with."

Judge also was asked if Brown has been attentive, and if the Patriots are getting what they need from the veteran wideout in the meeting room.

"He's great. He's a football guy all the way," Judge said. "If you're talking football and you're with him, he loves it. He's very engaged. He's very energetic. He brings a great new perspective to a lot of the things we've done, from his experiences elsewhere. He's been fun to work with and learn from."

Brown remains eligible to play Sunday when the Patriots host the New York Jets for a Week 3 matchup at Gillette Stadium.

The NFL is still investigating allegations made against Brown in a civil lawsuit filed in Florida last week. Late Thursday night, a new report from Sports Illustrated surfaced that alleges Brown has sent intimidating texts to a woman who's accused him of sexual misconduct. 

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked during Friday's press conference about Brown's Week 3 availability. Belichick responded, "He's on our roster." After several more questions regarding Brown, Belichick abruptly ended the presser.

Curran: $5M installment of Brown's signing bonus due Monday>>>

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Will Patriots' Antonio Brown play vs. Jets? Bill Belichick gives brief answer

Will Patriots' Antonio Brown play vs. Jets? Bill Belichick gives brief answer

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Antonio Brown made his New England Patriots debut last week against the Miami Dolphins, and unless something changes in the next 48 hours, it's not unreasonable to expect he'll be active for Sunday's Week 3 matchup with the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium. 

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick was asked during his Friday morning press conference if Brown would play Sunday, and his answer, as expected, was brief. 

"He's on our roster," Belichick said.

What can we deduce from Belichick's answer? NBC Sports Boston Patriots insider Tom E. Curran weighed in with the following tweet:

A report from Sports Illustrated surfaced late Thursday night alleging that Brown has sent intimidating texts to a woman who's accused him of sexual misconduct. It's the most recent of several negative stories involving Brown's actions off the football field. Last week, a civil suit was filed in Florida accusing Brown of rape and sexual assault. The lawsuit was filed by Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor. Brown, through his lawyer, has denied the allegations.

The NFL is conducting its own investigation into the allegations made against Brown. The league reportedly met with Taylor for 10 hours on Monday of this week.

Curran: $5M installment of Brown's signing bonus due Monday>>>

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