Patriots

Timeline of Antonio Brown's two weeks with the New England Patriots

Timeline of Antonio Brown's two weeks with the New England Patriots

Many thought that Antonio Brown's tenure with the Oakland Raiders was short. But his time with the New England Patriots was even shorter.

After two weeks with the Patriots, Brown was released amid numerous accusations of sexual assault, rape, and sending intimidating text messages to one of his accusers. Here's a look at the full timeline of Brown's two weeks with the Patriots and how the saga quickly unraveled.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 7: BROWN SIGNS WITH THE PATRIOTS

Just hours after his release from the Raiders, the Patriots were able to sign Antonio Brown. The veteran receiver apparently wanted to play in New England and he agreed to a one-year deal to join the Patriots.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 8: PATRIOTS BEAT STEELERS WITH BROWN INACTIVE

Brown wasn't able to suit up in Week 1 for the Patriots after signing so late on Saturday. News broke on Sunday that several teams had interest in Brown but Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, stated that Brown "wanted to be a Patriot" and that's what led him to New England.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 9: BROWN ADDED TO THE ACTIVE ROSTER

The Patriots added Brown to the active roster though Bill Belichick was non-committal about whether or not Brown would play in Week 2 against the Dolphins. He and Tom Brady posed for a photo that excited many Patriots fans about the potential of the two working together.

TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10: THE FIRST ALLEGATIONS

On Tuesday night, Antonio Brown was accused of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit filed by his former trainer, Britney Taylor. Brown denied the allegations. That muddied the waters surrounding Brown's availability moving forward, and many wondering if the commissioner's exempt list was a possibility for Brown.

Before this news broke, the Patriots traded Demaryius Thomas to the New York Jets in exchange for a sixth-round pick. That move made them a bit more reliant on Brown despite the concerns surrounding him.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11: TAYLOR CONFIRMED TO MEET WITH NFL

On Wednesday, it was reported that Brown's accuser, Taylor, would meet with the NFL at some point in the near future. Despite this and the fact that the NFL was considering putting him on paid leave (i.e. the commissioner's exempt list), Brown did practice with the Patriots while wearing a No. 1 jersey.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13: BROWN RUMORED TO PLAY VS. DOLPHINS

On Friday, rumors of Brown playing on Sunday against the Dolphins were swirling. So too were rumors that Brown wouldn't be put on the commissioner's exempt list before Sunday's game. That put the decision in the Patriots' hand, a hand that Belichick refused to tip.

Additionally, Brown saw his recently-signed helmet manufacturer partner, Xenith, end their relationship.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14: BROWN TRAVELS TO MIAMI

Brown traveled with the Patriots to Miami, further supporting the notion that he would be active for Sunday's game in Miami.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 15: BROWN PLAYS FIRST GAME WITH PATRIOTS

Brown did suit up for the Patriots and factored into the game as a weapon in the passing attack. He led the team with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in their 43-0 victory over the Dolphins.

After the game, Brown received effusive praise from his teammates being called a "tremendous asset" and getting an Instagram shoutout from Tom Brady.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 16: MORE ALLEGATIONS

Just a day after the Patriots' first game with Brown on the team, more allegations about his against him came to light via a Sports Illustrated article that outlined a pattern of repeated abusive behavior from Brown. Through a lawyer, Brown denied these allegations.

Also on this day, Brown's first accuser, Taylor, met with the NFL for 10 hours as they continued their investigation into Brown.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18: BROWN'S STATUS REMAINS UNCLEAR

While it became clear that Brown wouldn't be facing criminal charges from the alleged incidents involving Taylor, Brown's status with the Patriots was less clear. Brown was still likely to be eligible for Week 3 against the New York Jets, but as Albert Breer noted, there was "no way of knowing" what would come next in the Brown saga.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 19: BROWN'S FIRST COMMENTS AS A PATRIOT

Brown made his first public comments as a member of the Patriots on Thursday. He answered four questions and kept his availability brief, declining to comment on the allegations against him.

In addition to this, Nike announced that Brown would no longer be a Nike athlete. It was the second major sponsorship that Brown had lost during his time with the Patriots.

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 20: THINGS BOIL OVER AND BROWN IS RELEASED

Late on Thursday night, Sports Illustrated released a report that detailed "intimidating text messages" that Brown had sent to his second accuser. The text messages were made public and later in the day, an NFL investigation into them was announced.

Ahead of the Week 3 game against the Jets, Brown did practice with the Patriots. Belichick was questioned relentlessly about Brown at a press conference before storming off. And Belichick's answer to whether or not Brown would play against the Jets? "He's on the roster."

On Friday afternoon, it was confirmed that Brown had been released by the Patriots. In the aftermath of his release, Brown posted several messages on social media thanking Tom Brady and Bill Belichick for their brief time together.

Both the Patriots and Brown's agent, Rosenhaus, released official statements about his departure.

WHAT NOW?

Now, the Patriots will be without Brown and will have a receiving corps made up of Josh Gordon, Julian Edelman, Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Gunner Olszewski, and Matthew Slater. They may miss the presence of the veteran Thomas, who they traded, and will certainly have less upside as a group without Brown on board.

As for Brown, he's now going to be looking for work. But will anyone be willing to sign him amid the sexual assault and rape allegations and after failed tenures with the Raiders and Patriots in a matter of months? Only time will tell. But for the moment, his future in the league is murky at the very best.

Click here for a full timeline of Brown's time with the Raiders>>>

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Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Tedy Bruschi names his top five Patriots linebackers

Linebacker has been a position of strength for the New England Patriots for most of their 20-year dynasty, and one of the big reasons they've been able to sustain such a high level of success

Tedy Bruschi was a key linebacker for New England from 1996 to 2008. A three-time Super Bowl champion, Bruschi was inducted to the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2013. There's no doubt he's one of the best LBs in Patriots history.

But on Wednesday, a humble Bruschi took on the task of naming his top five Patriots linebackers of the Tom Brady era, and he didn't include himself.

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Here's who he did name, per WEEI's "Ordway, Merloni & Fauria".

Five, I heard you guys talking about (Rob) Ninkovich and I think that was a good call, that Rob and the timely plays he made, that sort of edge presence was strong. I go with Ninkovich at five.

I go (Roman) Phifer at four. Phife is someone that people forget about. Now, Phife never came off the field, through all those three championship runs — the early ones — Phife was like that guy now that splits out and covers the guy on the slots, and he’d beat up the tight end, or he’d have to cover a back. Phife did so much for us on the punt team with me and (Mike Vrabel), that type of guy. So Phifer was definitely one of the top ones for me.

For three, I have to put Hightower at three. Dont’a just made so many big plays in so many big games. So he’d be three for me.

Two, I’d go with Vrabel. all the reasons you guys have talked about already, but Vrabel, there was also a time during that stretch where he had to play inside linebacker. Inside linebacker, outside linebacker, defensive end, those type of guys. So Vrabel is two.

And I put (Willie) McGinest at one. In terms of a d-end, and also getting up and playing outside linebacker, setting the tone in the locker room, I mean, he was there even for the ’96 Super Bowl for me when I was a rookie there, so one would be Willie for me.

That's definitely a tough top five to argue with. Of course, Bruschi probably should be in there.

Jerod Mayo, Junior Seau, and Ted Johnson all are honorable mentions. And if we're talking non-Brady era, Andre Tippett's likely in the top spot.

The Patriots lost a pair of key linebackers in free agency this offseason as Kyle Van Noy signed a four-year deal with the Miami Dolphins and Jamie Collins left for the Detroit Lions on a three-year contract.

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

Bill Belichick shares important message amid coronavirus pandemic

As much of the world continues to adjust to life during the coronavirus pandemic, a number of Boston sports figures have delivered messages of encouragement as well as important reminders to stay home.

On Wednesday, Bill Belichick became the latest to do so. The New England Patriots head coach issued a PSA thanking medical professionals and urging the public to stay home during these difficult times.

"Hello, this is Bill Belichick. I want to reach out to you in these uncertain and unprecedented times to let you know that I, and the New England Patriots, are behind you. We are all in this together.

"Thank you to our heroic medical professionals -- doctors, nurses, medical workers, and others -- who are selflessly and courageously doing their job to take care of others in need. We have heard your stories and seen some of your great work. You are truly champions and warriors.

"We are facing a difficult opponent. It will take teamwork, discipline, and commitment to do the right things all the time. That includes staying at home. I encourage everyone to shelter in place for as long as necessary as we fight this virus together. There are plenty of things we cannot do right now, but let's focus on what we can do. We can adapt, we can adjust, and we can make better decisions right now for the betterment of the future. As I tell our team, let's keep stringing good days together, and we will get through this."

Watch below:


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Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman delivered a similar message on Friday. And after testing positive for the coronavirus, Boston Celtics guard Marcus Smart has gone above and beyond in raising awareness about the importance of quarantining during the pandemic. He also will be donating plasma to the National COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma Project.