Patriots

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

Report: Antonio Brown's latest incident 'enraged' Robert Kraft

The Patriots gave Antonio Brown a shot at redemption when they signed him earlier this month, then another when they kept the wide receiver amid allegations of sexual assault.

But on Friday, enough was enough. When intimidating text messages sent by Brown to one of his accusers leaked to the public, that was the final straw.

Bill Belichick and Robert Kraft came to the conclusion cutting ties with Brown was in the best interest of the team. According to Jeff Howe of The Athletic, the decision stemmed from Kraft being "enraged" upon hearing about Brown's latest incident.

Howe writes:

Kraft, who was on a business trip, became enraged Friday when he heard the details of Brown’s most recently reported incident of text messaging harassment of a former female acquaintance. Kraft and Belichick spoke and decided together to officially release Brown just 11 days after the Patriots signed the controversial star receiver, according to sources.

Shortly before the release was announced, Belichick walked off the podium in the middle of his press conference following a flurry of questions related to Brown. He did note, however, “There are some things that we’re looking into.”

Brown's tenure in New England lasted only 11 days and one game -- last Sunday's 43-0 win over the Dolphins. Now, he's again a free agent faced with hoping another team will be willing to give him yet another chance.

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Why Rodney Harrison senses 'panic' from Patriots after loss to Chiefs

Why Rodney Harrison senses 'panic' from Patriots after loss to Chiefs

The New England Patriots are 10-3. They're the No. 2 seed in the AFC.

They've also lost two in a row, and for a team that rarely loses games, period, that's recipe for some sky-is-falling hot takes.

Former Patriots safety Rodney Harrison did this week's honors Sunday night on NBC's "Football Night in America" following New England's 23-16 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs at Gillette Stadium.

 

"When I’m looking at the Patriots, it’s almost a sense of panic," Harrison said. "You see Tom Brady blow up last week and you see the frustration. Even you look at coach (Bill) Belichick: He’s blowing up and swearing and things like that.

"You’re starting to see a lot of panic from the guys in charge."

Belichick was particularly frustrated with Sunday's officiating crew, which made several mistakes that cost the Patriots, while subpar offensive performances have irked Brady over the last several weeks.

But Harrison sees a larger issue with the Patriots -- an issue that former NFL wide receiver Greg Jennings and others have brought to light recently.

"No one's afraid of them," Harrison said. "You saw Kansas City before -- Kansas City was always so conservative, sitting back and playing zone coverage. Now, they're blitzing nickel (backs) and linebackers; it's like they're having fun teeing off on the Patriots."

Of course, the New England has made many pundits eat crow. The dynasty was supposed to be over after a 2014 loss to these same Chiefs in Week 4, and few thought the Patriots would make it to the Super Bowl last season after losing back-to-back games in December.

The Patriots have their work cut out for them again this year, as the No. 1 seed looks out of reach with the Baltimore Ravens sitting at 11-2. But Belichick, Brady and Co. have plenty of bulletin board material to work with.

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Patrick Chung takes veiled shot at refs after Patriots-Chiefs missed calls

Patrick Chung takes veiled shot at refs after Patriots-Chiefs missed calls

The New England Patriots know better than to publicly criticize NFL officials.

But they have other means of getting their message across.

Hours after the Patriots' 23-16 loss to the Chiefs at Gillette Stadium, safety Patrick Chung went on Twitter to suggest New England was beaten by both Kansas City and its "fans."

Allow us to translate: "Fans" equals "the refs."

Chung and the Patriots had reason to believe the refs weren't on their side, as two incorrect decisions by Jerome Boger's crew cost them severely.

First, the referees missed a Travis Kelce fumble in the third quarter, blowing the play dead as Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore scooped the ball up for what would have been a return for a touchdown.

New England challenged the play and won to gain possession, but Gilmore's touchdown still was negated because the play was blown dead.

It also mean the Patriots were out of challenges, which they could have used when N'Keal Harry was incorrectly ruled as stepping out of bounds at the 3-yard line on a fourth-quarter catch.

Harry later insisted (correctly) he stayed in bounds and scored a touchdown, and drove home that point on social media by retweeting a video of the play.

You won't hear the Patriots say much more about Sunday's officiating, but the fact that they're even taking subtle Twitter shots is a sign they clearly feel aggrieved.

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