Patriots

Patriots $5M installment of Antonio Brown's signing bonus due Monday

Patriots $5M installment of Antonio Brown's signing bonus due Monday

The first installment of Antonio Brown’s $9M signing bonus must be paid by Monday.

If the Patriots haven’t already coughed up the $5M they agreed to give Brown when they officially signed him on September 9, news that broke Thursday night of Brown sending threatening text messages this week to a woman should give them pause about cutting that check.

If the Patriots have paid it, it will likely take some wrangling to get it back if the team ultimately decides to follow the lead of Nike and helmet manufacturer Xenith and get out of the Antonio Brown business by releasing him.

Brown’s tenure with the Patriots has been an unmitigated PR disaster not nearly outweighed by the four catches for 56 yards he had in last week’s 43-0 win over Miami.

When it was just unpaid bills for services rendered, ill-advised Facebook Live content, going 100 in a 45, showing up late or not at all for events, launching furniture from the upper floors of his condo, frozen feet, an uncomfortable helmet, calling the Raiders GM a cracker and persistent social media drama, it was all fun-and-games and the Patriots were happy to hold their nose because the football he played was so, so good.

Fifteen days later, not so much. The civil lawsuit filed alleging two instances of sexual assault and one instance of rape led NFL investigators to interview Brown’s alleged victim for 10 hours on Monday.

Less than 48 hours later on Wednesday night, Brown went back at a woman who said Brown approached her naked aside from a facecloth on his genitals while she was working on a painting for him. He derided the woman as a “celebrity groupie” on a group text, instructed a henchman to look into her background “to see how broke this girl is”, included images of the woman’s children on the text chain and said he would be reaching out to the “team” surrounding rapper Meek Mill to try and dig for more on the woman.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft took up for Meek Mill while the rapper was imprisoned and developed a friendship with him.

Language in Brown’s contract says the deal is “null and void” if he “takes any action that materially undermines the public's respect for, or is materially critical of, the Club, the Player's teammates or the Club's ownership, coaches.”

Has Brown taken any action that “materially undermines the public’s respect for … the Club”? What does “material” mean in this instance? It could also be argued the mere signing of Brown in the first place lowered the public’s respect for it.

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N'Keal Harry's post, Tom Brady's response will fire up Patriots fans

N'Keal Harry's post, Tom Brady's response will fire up Patriots fans

Patriots rookie wide receiver N'Keal Harry is excited to get back to work.

Harry, the Patriots' first-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, has spent the season on injured reserve with an ankle injury but finally returned to practice at Gillette Stadium on Tuesday. The 21-year-old will be eligible to play in Week 9, and he expressed his excitement in his latest social media post.

"Felt great to be out there with the boys. #GodsPlan," he wrote.

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Patriots quarterback Tom Brady responded to his young receiver's post with a simple, encouraging message: "Let's keep it going."

Brady and the Patriots will look to improve to 7-0 on Monday night when they take on the 1-4 New York Jets.

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Report: Patriots work out four kickers and a punter

Report: Patriots work out four kickers and a punter

The New England Patriots appear to be looking for some special teams depth.

Kickers Nick Folk, Greg Joseph, Austin MacGinnis, and Giorgio Tavecchio, as well as punter Austin Rehkow, worked out for the Patriots on Tuesday according to Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated.

Folk has 10 years of NFL experience under the belt, six of them with the New York Jets. The 34-year-old's most recent NFL season came in 2017 with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers when he was 6-of-11 for field goal attempts and 7-of-9 for extra points in four games. Folk last played for the Arizona Hotshots of the Alliance of American Football.

Joseph, 25, spent his lone season with the Cleveland Browns in 2018 going 17-of-20 on field goals and 25-of-29 for extra points.

MacGinnis doesn't have any NFL experience but was a first-team selection to the All-SEC team and broke the single-season record for field goals with the Kentucky Wildcats in 2014. The 24-year-old most recently played for the Memphis Express of the AAF.

Tavecchio spent all 16 games in 2017 with the Oakland Raiders and three games with the Atlanta Falcons in 2018. During that '17 season with the Raiders, the 29-year-old was 16-of-21 for field goals and 33-of-34 for extra points.

Rehkow was signed and later waived by the Buffalo Bills in 2017 as a kicker and again by the New York Giants in 2018 as a punter. The 24-year-old last played for the Salt Lake Stallions of the AAF.

The Patriots currently are rolling with veteran kicker Mike Nugent as Stephen Gostkowski's replacement and rookie Jake Bailey as punter. Kicker Younghoe Koo was cut from the Pats' practice squad on Tuesday.

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