Patriots

Report: Patriots will end up paying Antonio Brown money they owe him

Report: Patriots will end up paying Antonio Brown money they owe him

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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Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Bills WR gives Patriots bulletin-board material after Tom Brady departure

Is the AFC East officially wide open now that Tom Brady is no longer a member of the New England Patriots? At least one Buffalo Bills player thinks so.

Bills wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie was ecstatic to hear the news of Brady signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. That comes as no surprise, as the ex-Pats QB is an absurd 32-3 against Buffalo in his 20-year career and New England has won 11 straight division titles with Brady under center.

During an interview with WROC in Buffalo last week, McKenzie expressed his excitement about Brady leaving while giving the Patriots some bulletin-board material.

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“The Brady situation, I cheered,” McKenzie said. “He’s a great player. Our team is stacked. The last two years we’ve been giving him a run for his money, but now that he’s gone, it’s going to kind of be the Bills’ time to take over.”

McKenzie's confidence isn't unfounded. The Bills made a big splash earlier this offseason by trading for star wide receiver Stefon Diggs, giving Josh Allen another dangerous weapon opposite John Brown. With Brady and several other key contributors leaving in free agency, the Patriots may have their work cut out for them next season.

Bills general manager Brandon Beane sang a much different tune than McKenzie on Thursday, saying it's "funny and comical how people are writing off the Patriots in the AFC East." Still, it's safe to bet McKenzie's words will be remembered in Foxboro when the 2020 campaign kicks off.

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

Scott Pioli: Why Bill Belichick, Cam Newton are 'like oil and water'

At various points this offseason, the New England Patriots have been connected to some of the free-agent quarterbacks on the open market. And after they lost Tom Brady to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, speculation increased that they could add a veteran to compete with Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer in the quarterback room.

One guy that has been mentioned quite a bit is Cam Newton. The 2015 MVP was released by the Carolina Panthers this offseason but has yet to sign with a team.

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Newton has been tied to the Patriots mostly by betting odds, which does make some sense. After all, Stidham is inexperienced and Hoyer has been an average-at-best starter during his time in the NFL. Newton has a history of high-level play when healthy, so perhaps he'd be worth the gamble for the right team.

But will the Patriots actually pursue him? One of the team's former personnel executives doesn't think so.

In a recent interview with Zach Gelb of CBS Sports Radio, Scott Pioli, who worked in the Patriots front office from 2000-2008, spoke about Newton's connection to the Patriots. And ultimately, he doesn't think that Bill Belichick and Newton would be able to coexist.

"With Cam Newton, the Patriots thing is interesting because I've heard a lot of people talk about that. In my mind, having spent as much time with Bill as I did, I don't see those two coexisting together," Pioli said. "The personalities and beliefs of how the game should be played and is played, it seems like oil and water."

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Pioli joked that the Patriots will probably go right out and sign Newton after hearing these comments. But he ultimately just thinks Belichick and Newton wouldn't mesh well.

"I just see them as being very different personalities and having very different approaches to the game," Pioli said. "Bill believes in football more than entertainment. Cam believes that football and entertainment are almost equal partners. And in this day and age, it is, but Bill has the soul of a football man. I couldn't see that one working out too well. And if I did, it would probably have to be for one season."

Pioli makes some good points and perhaps that is why the team hasn't shown a lot of interest in Newton so far. Given that the team seems to believe in Stidham, it probably wouldn't make sense for them to bring in Newton to compete for the job if they're worried about how he might fit with the team.

Patriots fans should have a better idea of what the quarterback room will look like once the 2020 NFL Draft comes and goes. The Patriots may take another young player at the position to compete with Stidham and Hoyer. If they do, that would likely fully eliminate the possibility of them adding another veteran quarterback, if that option isn't already off the table.