When the New England Patriots released Antonio Brown prior to week three, the belief was that this move was based upon the veteran receiver allegedly sending intimidating text messages to a female that accused him of unwanted sexual advances. However, Brown says his release was actually due to the money the Patriots were scheduled to pay him instead of the messages.
"Wasn't the phone think it was the price tag," Brown wrote in response to an individual on Twitter that told him he should have stayed off of his phone. For context, Brown signed a one-year deal worth up to $15 million that also included a $9 million signing bonus. However, Brown lost this money when he was released, prompting him to file a grievance against the Patriots.
Many on social media were not convinced that this was the actual reason, and one person even responded to Brown, saying, "Eh...sure seemed like it was the phone..." However, this was only the start of the conversation.
Brown decided to further bolster his point, saying that he and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, had talked on the phone the Friday prior to his release about how the Patriots did not want to pay him $5 million in bonus money. In his opinion, it was strange that he had been released after this alleged conversation, only for the text messages to be blamed.
Granted, it's unknown if this conversation took place. At this point, it's Brown's word against the Patriots'. Although the team has remained quiet since cutting ties with the veteran receiver.
The texts in question were ones discovered by Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated. In a massive article about various allegations against Brown, there was one female that listed accusations of unwanted sexual advances while she was painting at the receiver's house.
Following this story coming to light, Brown allegedly sent messages to the artist via group text. His messages included a photo of her children and instructions for his associates to investigate her. Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, was also in the group text but never responded to any of the messages. He had previously advised Brown not to communicate with his accuser.
Per the Washington Post, league officials reached out to the Patriots, as well as Brown following the texts coming to light. Essentially, the league told him to cease all communications with his accuser.
This story led to a press conference in which Patriots coach Bill Belichick walked away from the podium after multiple questions about Brown. Shortly thereafter, the receiver was released.
Whether or not the release was tied to this press conference and the texts in question is unknown, but Brown certainly believes that the team cut ties with him solely based on money.
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