Patriots

Patriots

Antonio Brown's tenure with the New England Patriots was rather short, but the star wide receiver is due to be paid a $9 million dollar signing bonus regardless of his departure from the organization.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft has noted that he will refuse to pay Brown the money he's owed due to the multiple sexual assault and rape allegations made against the wide receiver. Naturally, Brown has filed a grievance against Kraft and the Patriots, saying that the organization owes him the money he's due for signing with New England. 

League sources told Yahoo Sports this week that Kraft must pay Brown the money he's owed, and here's why.

“[New England] fighting to keep that signing bonus now is either a gross misunderstanding of [the CBA’s] rules on voiding signing bonuses or it’s just out of spite," a source told Yahoo Sports. "I can’t believe they don’t understand the signing bonus voids in the CBA. There’s just no way. This is just spitefulness. They’re fighting [Brown] completely out of the anger and embarrassment in ownership.”

“If they had cut [Brown] as soon as they became aware of the civil suit, then there’s the argument of the [withholding] breach undermining the entire agreement,” another source said. “But they kept him on the roster after that lawsuit was filed. They played him in a game. They even paid him checks for [two weeks of] work. If the civil suit was a true dealbreaker, the Patriots could have shown it by breaking the deal. Their actions speak to their intent and their intent was shown when they continued to pay him after the civil suit.”

 

Here are the terms lined out by the CBA in which a player's signing bonus can be voided:

Where it concerns Brown’s $9 million signing bonus, the fight appears to be heading to an argument of one clause in the CBA. Specifically, Article 4 and section 9, which lays the foundation of the forfeitable breach of money within a contract. It states:

(a) Forfeitable Breach. Any player who (i) willfully fails to report, practice or play with the result that the player’s ability to fully participate and contribute to the team is substantially undermined (for example, without limitation, holding out or leaving the squad absent a showing of extreme personal hardship); or (ii) is unavailable to the team due to conduct by him that results in his incarceration; or (iii) is unavailable to the team due to a nonfootball injury that resulted from a material breach of Paragraph 3 of his NFL Player Contract; or (iv) voluntarily retires ...

Brown does not fit into any of those qualifications for termination of his $9 million signing bonus, and therefore will end up receiving that money from Kraft. Another source from Yahoo Sports said that if the Patriots had cut him as soon as they found out about the allegations, then maybe they wouldn't have to pay him.

“If they had cut [Brown] as soon as they became aware of the civil suit, then there’s the argument of the [withholding] breach undermining the entire agreement,” the source said. “But they kept him on the roster after that lawsuit was filed. They played him in a game. They even paid him checks for [two weeks of] work. If the civil suit was a true dealbreaker, the Patriots could have shown it by breaking the deal. Their actions speak to their intent and their intent was shown when they continued to pay him after the civil suit.”

It definitely sounds like Brown will be getting paid, and New England will pay the price for not cutting him as soon as the sexual assault and rape allegations came out against him.

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