2019 AB Watch: Legal & Exemption List Posts Only

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TheoShmeo

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For one second make believe he’s not a Patriot and tell me you’d feel this way. He’s threatening people’s kids. Even if the story is fabricated that is way, way over the line. I honestly do not know why anyone would want this dude suiting up for the Pats on Sunday.
If she's lying about the underlying acts, then he has the right to be incredibly upset and even unhinged. Anyone who has been falsely accused knows what it's like. You can't prove a negative and people tend to believe anything they hear. I was falsely identifed as an armed robber when I was 19, and had to deal with undoing that insanity for a year of my life, so perhaps I am more sensitive to potentially false accusations than most are. If she is lying, she put his career in jeopardy, and maybe even his freedom.

Now she very well may be telling the truth.

And the kids thing is indeed some incredibly stupid shit.

But I remain of the view that they should not suspend/exempt/cut him for these menacing texts any more than they should for untested allegations.

Now if the NFL investigates and determines that Brown in fact raped or assaulted the accuser or accusers, then that's obviously different. Then he should go.

Yeah, I do want him out there Sunday because he has not been determined to have done these things (not the texts, rather the assault/rape) and he's very good at football.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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I read the posts in here and the article before clicking to the next story with the screenshots from the text. I was actually surprised that I didn't find the text to be at all threatening, especially because I was wondering how he could have found a way to include a picture of her kids and it not be used in a threatening context, and I say that as a father of two young kids. I did take it as Brown being an asshole, "Look at this poor single mom with all these mouths to feed, who can't even afford to take care of her kids without a shakedown of an NFL star," and using it to try to make his point.

If the Patriots are going to release him, it's probably wrong that my first feeling is to do it slowly and properly in a very business matter. Cutting him outright and being on the hook (even if there's a legal battle in the future that they win) for his signing bonus/guaranteed money is not in the best interest in the team compared to having the NFL take an action, which will void the deal. From a business perspective that cap space is very valuable if they want to go find some offensive line help (it'd cover Trent Williams, if it were freed up).
 

dcmissle

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So, since this action happened while with NE, do we think there's a chance they could recoup the money?
There is some chance. Substantial enough to spend that $9 MM elsewhere this season consistent with the cap? Not close.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I think he’ll be gone today, as well, btw. This is just further evidence he can’t get out of his own way and cannot control himself. I still don’t think the NFL should be running internal investigations of this shit.

Oh ok. Yeah, it shouldn’t. Even if I don’t read it as a threat to the kids, I can see how others would and again it demonstrates the guy has no self-control and is a ticking time bomb for worse.
With regards to ticking time bomb, maybe everyone else knew about this but this PIT Post-Gazette article dealing AB's lawsuits and interactions with police is eye-opening: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2019/09/16/antonio-brown-steelers-police-calls-lawsuit/stories/201909160120.

While lawsuits have been flying, Mr. Brown’s numerous interactions with his local police department , Northern Regional, have largely flown under the radar. From calls about domestic disturbances to a burnt steak, forgery allegations to a reported $2 million in missing jewelry, Mr. Brown and his girlfriend kept the North Hills force busy since they moved into Pine several years ago.
Officers have responded at least 18 times to the $1.8 million property on Silver Pines Drive.
 

joe dokes

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So, since this action happened while with NE, do we think there's a chance they could recoup the money?
I wonder if their check has even cleared. Just stop payment.
Seriously, though, I'm sure the contract has the maximum possible language to allow them get some money back if he gets a behavior-based whacking. I dont know what "maximum" is, consistent with the CBA.
 

CantKeepmedown

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His instagram story shows him happy as a pig in shit, probably driving to work. Seemingly oblivious to anything that's going on. I'm not sure if I should be disgusted or impressed.
 

Ed Hillel

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Klemko says more to come including a likely criminal filing.

He gonna be gone.
The criminal filing is for unpaid debts, correct? He’s mentioned this before.

Doubt it moves the needle one way or another. The league won’t want to get involved in debt issues...
 

dcmissle

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I wonder if their check has even cleared. Just stop payment.
Seriously, though, I'm sure the contract has the maximum possible language to allow them get some money back if he gets a behavior-based whacking. I dont know what "maximum" is, consistent with the CBA.
1. Stopping payment gets you nothing from a cap management standpoint if you are later deemed to owe the money.

2. For the third time, Breer and Co are over their heads.
 

ngruz25

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It's astonishing that anyone would read AB's texts and not consider them threatening. I'm wondering if you guys are actually reading the texts, which are pictured in the SI article, or just relying on summaries of the texts. Because they're pretty bad. It's AB asking someone named Eric B. to "look up her background", then attaching a picture of the accuser's kids. WHILE THE WOMAN IS ON THE TEXTS.

AB is either in need of serious help or catastrophically stupid. Maybe both. But either way, he won't be a Patriot for long.
 

HowBoutDemSox

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This entire episode illustrates why, was I the NFL leadership, I’d RUN to the table to negotiate away much of the scope of my quasi-law enforcement power with respect to players. They’re not equipped to deal with this shit, yet they’ve made themselves a legitimate tool for private disputes between players and, on the other side, individuals outside of the league’s reach.
Especially so if discipline power for off field incidents is something the NFLPA wants them to give up, they can not only use it as a bargaining chip to get something else in negotiations (revenue split, more control over on field incident discipline, whatever) and get this giant PR grenade out of their fox hole at the same time. Right now, at best, they do everything right, as fast as possible, and at least a still sizable portion of the public thinks they were either too lenient, or too strict, or moved too slow, or moved too fast. And I’m not sure they’ve ever got it exactly right, they’re simply not equipped to. If they give it up, they have absolute deniability, they can hang any greviances on the NFLPA (“we’d love to investigate this matter and take appropriate action, but our collective bargaining ageement with the players’ union precludes us from getting involved”) and let’s them not get dragged into any of it. Teams can still cut players for horrible behavior, but then it’s a team matter, not a league one.

They won’t do that though, because Roger loves playing sheriff.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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The messages are stupid, ill advised and and menacing. But I think it's an overreaction to cut him over this or for the NFL to exempt him. IF she is making this up to pressure him or extort him, or is being opportunistic with her timing, then he is feeling cornered and is acting out. Again, it's incredibly ill advised, but I don't get the jump to get rid of him.
This is where I am, as uncomfortable as it feels.
 

Ed Hillel

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The problem for the NFL is still the Tyreek precedent. He had worse threats to his wife, who he had previously beaten (while pregnant), and nothing happened.
 

Ralphwiggum

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If she's lying about the underlying acts, then he has the right to be incredibly upset and even unhinged. Anyone who has been falsely accused knows what it's like. You can't prove a negative and people tend to believe anything they hear. I was falsely identifed as an armed robber when I was 19, and had to deal with undoing that insanity for a year of my life, so perhaps I am more sensitive to potentially false accusations than most are. If she is lying, she put his career in jeopardy, and maybe even his freedom.

Now she very well may be telling the truth.

And the kids thing is indeed some incredibly stupid shit.

But I remain of the view that they should not suspend/exempt/cut him for these menacing texts any more than they should for untested allegations.

Now if the NFL investigates and determines that Brown in fact raped or assaulted the accuser or accusers, then that's obviously different. Then he should go.

Yeah, I do want him out there Sunday because he has not been determined to have done these things (not the texts, rather the assault/rape) and he's very good at football.
Given everything we know about Antonio Brown, what do you think happened in these cases? Why do we need the court or the league to do the right thing here? The team needs to act. It’s only football, I don’t need the Pats to win that badly.
 

lexrageorge

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Here's the thing: he didn't have to send the texts. He didn't have to send a picture of the woman's kids. He should have had his attorneys deal with the termination of the business relationship and any claims of bad debts. He could have had his agent make additional statements disputing the woman's account.

The rape allegations had some holes in them, and the accuser has credibility issues. It seems as if he probably could have beaten those allegations. The SI story showed him to be an entitled jerk, but unlikely to move the needle in any way. Highly skeptical that any charges over the bad debts could ever stick, and the NFL would never get involved (nor should they) in a private business dispute.

He's now embroiled himself in a PR disaster for him, the team, and the league. For no good reason. So, while I was firmly in the Remain camp when it came to Brown, I feel that whatever consequences result from his text messages will be his to bear. If the team or the league say enough is enough, I would be fine with the outcome. If he stay's, that's fine, although I'd be constantly worried about what is next to come out.
 

loshjott

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The problem for the NFL is still the Tyreek precedent. He had worse threats to his wife, who he had previously beaten (while pregnant), and nothing happened.
That's not a problem for the NFL. It's an opportunity for them to be more (correctly, IMO) proactive now.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Anyone else read the article as SI not naming Brown as the person making the texts? Just a "texter" that has reportedly the same number Brown gave the accuser in 2017?
 

k-factory

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I always thought signing AB was in equal part a move to keep him off KC. Arguably all this current drama would be far less magnified there.
Cutting him would likely just send him there.
Isn’t the smartest course of action to sit or suspend him for conduct? And then if Roger’s faux investigation lands him on the exempt list then cut him and recoup your investment since it removes the threat of him landing elsewhere? Or would the NFLPA require he be paid and thus no cap savings?
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Anyone else read the article as SI not naming Brown as the person making the texts? Just a "texter" that has reportedly the same number Brown gave the accuser in 2017?
Sounds like they're unable to confirm that it's AB's phone number. Says that when she last interacted with him in 2017, that it was the contact number that AB provided to him to get in touch with him. So it could have been Brown's (isn't he known for having multiple phones?) or it could have been a friend of his or employee of his that he wanted as an intermediary. That said, the writing from the "texter" certainly doesn't seem like the language from a paid personal assistant and is closer in line to the other Brown texts and DMs that have been linked to the media.
 

TheoShmeo

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Given everything we know about Antonio Brown, what do you think happened in these cases? Why do we need the court or the league to do the right thing here? The team needs to act. It’s only football, I don’t need the Pats to win that badly.
I think he probably is guilty. But I'm glad that our systems of justice are not based on my gut or your gut, as likely to be correct as each is. Our systems are in place for all cases, not just the ones where we have a good idea, for good reason, about what happened.

Hey, I don't like AB any more than anyone here. I just can't eject a guy off allegations, his own dumbassery or my gut. I think that's an incredibly dangerous slippery slope, and bad facts/cases make bad law.
 

lexrageorge

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I always thought signing AB was in equal part a move to keep him off KC. Arguably all this current drama would be far less magnified there.
Cutting him would likely just send him there.
Isn’t the smartest course of action to sit or suspend him for conduct? And then if Roger’s faux investigation lands him on the exempt list then cut him and recoup your investment since it removes the threat of him landing elsewhere? Or would the NFLPA require he be paid and thus no cap savings?
If he goes on the exempt list, he still gets paid. I doubt the NFLPA would allow the Pats to get out of paying his salary by cutting him in that instance.

Also, most of AB's 2019 earnings are signing bonus, so the actual cap savings would be small. Breer's claims notwithstanding, it's unclear they could recoup any of the bonus. The Pats were unable to recoup any of Aaron Hernandez' signing bonus.
 

HomeBrew1901

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I think he probably is guilty. But I'm glad that our systems of justice are not based on my gut or your gut, as likely to be correct as each is. Our systems are in place for all cases, not just the ones where we have a good idea, for good reason, about what happened.

Hey, I don't like AB any more than anyone here. I just can't eject a guy off allegations, his own dumbassery or my gut. I think that's an incredibly dangerous slippery slope, and bad facts/cases make bad law.
We're not sending him to jail.

I think the Patriots are well within their rights to fire him based on his conduct.
 

Ed Hillel

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Given everything we know about Antonio Brown, what do you think happened in these cases? Why do we need the court or the league to do the right thing here? The team needs to act. It’s only football, I don’t need the Pats to win that badly.
I’m so past caring about the morality of players on my sports teams, honestly. We don’t know half the shit that’s been done by players we’ve rooted for. Take a look at a guy like Marvin Harrison, who was lauded for his leadership for years and was a grade A piece of shit. What about Brandon Browner? He was likely doing horrible things in 2014, as well. Do you view that title with less regard because he’s a piece of shit human?

I understand the NFL and Patriots are a business/brand, and they might need to act, but as a fan I just don’t care. Other teams have shitty people playing for them, including our biggest threat, the Chiefs. I won’t feel any better losing to them because our squad might have a better collective moraL compass.
 

joe dokes

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1. Stopping payment gets you nothing from a cap management standpoint if you are later deemed to owe the money.

2. For the third time, Breer and Co are over their heads.
1. that's why the next sentence began with "seriously, though."
2. No doubt.
 

JCizzle

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The criminal filing is for unpaid debts, correct? He’s mentioned this before.

Doubt it moves the needle one way or another. The league won’t want to get involved in debt issues...
It's allegedly not for a situation that involves debt or sex.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I think he probably is guilty. But I'm glad that our systems of justice are not based on my gut or your gut, as likely to be correct as each is. Our systems are in place for all cases, not just the ones where we have a good idea, for good reason, about what happened.

Hey, I don't like AB any more than anyone here. I just can't eject a guy off allegations, his own dumbassery or my gut. I think that's an incredibly dangerous slippery slope, and bad facts/cases make bad law.
Aren’t you a lawyer? I’m not saying he should go to jail. I just don’t want him playing for the Pats. Would you be fine rooting for Tyreek Hill on Sundays? Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. The players are public figures and while I know many of the Patriots over the years were not saints, I’d rather now knowingly root for someone who by all accounts appearsto be a giant fucking scumbag. There’s no slippery slope here. It’s about being better than tolerating a guy like Brown just because winning football games is fun.
 

Ralphwiggum

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I’m so past caring about the morality of players on my sports teams, honestly. We don’t know half the shit that’s been done by players we’ve rooted for. Take a look at a guy like Marvin Harrison, who was lauded for his leadership for years and was a grade A piece of shit. What about Brandon Browner? He was likely doing horrible things in 2014, as well. Do you view that title with less regard because he’s a piece of shit human?

I understand the NFL and Patriots are a business/brand, and they might need to act, but as a fan I just don’t care. Other teams have shitty people playing for them, including our biggest threat, the Chiefs. I won’t feel any better losing to them because our squad might have a better collective moraL compass.
I disagree with this completely but at least it’s honest.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Sounds like they're unable to confirm that it's AB's phone number. Says that when she last interacted with him in 2017, that it was the contact number that AB provided to him to get in touch with him. So it could have been Brown's (isn't he known for having multiple phones?) or it could have been a friend of his or employee of his that he wanted as an intermediary. That said, the writing from the "texter" certainly doesn't seem like the language from a paid personal assistant and is closer in line to the other Brown texts and DMs that have been linked to the media.
So all this reaction over something that isn't even confirmed to be Antonio Brown? Times like these I go back to the immortal words of Brandon Spikes...
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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If he goes on the exempt list, he still gets paid. I doubt the NFLPA would allow the Pats to get out of paying his salary by cutting him in that instance.

Also, most of AB's 2019 earnings are signing bonus, so the actual cap savings would be small. Breer's claims notwithstanding, it's unclear they could recoup any of the bonus. The Pats were unable to recoup any of Aaron Hernandez' signing bonus.
Yeah, it's definitely unclear how the signing bonus would work even if the Patriots could void his deal. I went looking at what happened with his Raiders' contract for context and clarity, and what I found is not of much help.

Data from Sportrac.com (https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/new-england-patriots/antonio-brown-6702/)

Brown's $30.125M in guaranteed money was only a $1M signing bonus and then $29.125M of guaranteed salary, which was his 2019 and 2020 base salary, which were $14.625M and $14.5M respectively. Per CBS Sports, His signing bonus was actually structured as two $500,000 workout bonuses (this is actually uncommon). To earn the $1M he had to show up to 85% of offseason activities in 2019 and then 85% of offseason activities in 2020. He did not in 2019, so did not get his $500K, and since he obviously will not be participating in Raiders' offseason camp next summer has missed out on the other $500K.

This is a long way of saying that this doesn't appear to provide any sort of guidance to us on how the Patriots' cap situation would be impacted should they be able to void Brown's contract.
 

TheoShmeo

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Aren’t you a lawyer? I’m not saying he should go to jail. I just don’t want him playing for the Pats. Would you be fine rooting for Tyreek Hill on Sundays? Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. The players are public figures and while I know many of the Patriots over the years were not saints, I’d rather now knowingly root for someone who by all accounts appearsto be a giant fucking scumbag. There’s no slippery slope here. It’s about being better than tolerating a guy like Brown just because winning football games is fun.
I wasn't referring to jail. Imprecise writing there. I meant cutting/exempting/suspending him. Apologies if my bad writing wasted some key strokes and focus.

It IS a slippery slope to cut or exempt a player because you just "know" in your gut is guilty of whatever he's been accused of without more than that. Because there will be ten others guys down the road who also look guilty as fuck, and not every one of them will be.

I don't know about Hill. I have not followed those accusations closely. My guess is that I could root for him on the Pats though. I know that when AB caught each of his passes last Sunday, I was extremely happy. I liked seeing the new weapon and I enjoyed Bill effectively giving the football world the finger. Part of that is residual hate from SpyGate and Deflategate, and part of it is tied to loving that Bill is such a contrarian and defiant sort. But I enjoyed the sum total of it last Sunday and will enjoy it some more if AB stays around. More fundamentally, I liked that his presence makes winning easier, or arguably does.

Last, I really don't know jack about ANY of these players. I know people who know some of them, but they are all a black box to me. Meggett was known as a character guy when he was on the Pats until he was revealed as a rapist. Just saying that I don't get into which guys I can or can't root for -- absent real proof of crimes etc -- because I don't know the first thing about any of them.
 
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Super Nomario

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If he goes on the exempt list, he still gets paid. I doubt the NFLPA would allow the Pats to get out of paying his salary by cutting him in that instance.

Also, most of AB's 2019 earnings are signing bonus, so the actual cap savings would be small. Breer's claims notwithstanding, it's unclear they could recoup any of the bonus. The Pats were unable to recoup any of Aaron Hernandez' signing bonus.
They were able to recoup some of Hernandez' bonus money (in fact, Miguel still thinks they might recoup more). The other issue is that Hernandez' contract reportedly didn't have typical CYA language:
As Ian Rapoport of NFL Network has pointed out, and as we’ve confirmed, the Hernandez contract mysteriously omits language that would forfeit the guarantee in the event of a default by Hernandez. In English, this means he’s arguably entitled to the money even if he’s suspended, in jail, or both.
It looks like Brown's contract has much stronger language in this regard.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Is AB a litmus test for BBtL posters' morality scale?
Yes. An additional litmus test on that morality scale is also whether a poster watches the NFL at all. The league unfortunately has many criminals, domestic abusers and harassers.

I think another poster put it well that in the same way the "Your Team Cheats" website exists showing infractions for every NFL franchise, you could have a "Your Team Employs Bad People" website with multiple examples of players that committed crimes before, during or after their employment with the teams they played for.
 

TheoShmeo

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Is AB a litmus test for BBtL posters' morality scale?
I think he's a test for our willingness to act (cut, exempt, suspend) based on a sliding scale of evidence.

If we had proof that AB was a rapist, I don't think anyone here would be able to root for him.

And if we knew for a fact that he was innocent, I assume most could root for him.

The in between zone is where posters differ.
 

Bowhemian

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His instagram story shows him happy as a pig in shit, probably driving to work. Seemingly oblivious to anything that's going on. I'm not sure if I should be disgusted or impressed.
He'll be happy until he gets to the office today, and there is an assistant at the door to meet him: "Antonio, coach would like to see you in his office-bring your playbook"
 

BigSoxFan

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Aren’t you a lawyer? I’m not saying he should go to jail. I just don’t want him playing for the Pats. Would you be fine rooting for Tyreek Hill on Sundays? Playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. The players are public figures and while I know many of the Patriots over the years were not saints, I’d rather now knowingly root for someone who by all accounts appearsto be a giant fucking scumbag. There’s no slippery slope here. It’s about being better than tolerating a guy like Brown just because winning football games is fun.
Where do you draw the line? Have you boycotted Kevin Spacey movies? I think it's perfectly reasonable to be on both sides of this argument. I think we'd all prefer our players be saints but that's just not realistic. Some people are more willing to compartmentalize more than others. I myself am probably close to Ed Hillel's side on this. It won't bother me if the Pats or NFL cut bait but it also won't bother me to see AB suit up either. NFL is entertainment for me. My monocle won't fall into my soup if AB plays on Sunday and scores a TD.

Once we get into real criminal charges, then it's different. That's where my line is.
 

HomeBrew1901

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Yes. An additional litmus test on that morality scale is also whether a poster watches the NFL at all. The league unfortunately has many criminals, domestic abusers and harassers.

I think another poster put it well that in the same way the "Your Team Cheats" website exists showing infractions for every NFL franchise, you could have a "Your Team Employs Bad People" website with multiple examples of players that committed crimes before, during or after their employment with the teams they played for.
Take morality out of it.

He doesn't know how to stay out of the spotlight and is a major distraction and bad example for other players on the team. While this team can handle distractions better than most... there is a limit at some point.

Keep your fucking mouth shut and the other stuff is forgotten in a week, but no, he has to keep fucking up in new and inventive ways.
 

dcmissle

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Is AB a litmus test for BBtL posters' morality scale?
You betcha. We have Shank/Felger/Mazz among us this morning.

They are determined to make people feel badly about a situation no one feels good about.
 

ngruz25

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Because it wasn't Brown? Or because it was?
Here's Klemko:

6. One more name jumped out: Darren Heitner, Brown’s attorney. We called Heitner, who declined comment other than to answer this question: “Did you advise your client to send those texts.” His answer: “No I did not, and you’ll notice I didn’t respond.”
I guess you could read that to mean that he didn't respond because it wasn't AB on the texts... but I don't. Given AB's writing style, I think it's pretty obvious it's him.
 

Ed Hillel

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That’s a real question he asked? “Did you advise your client to write these texts?”

Goaded him into saying something, I suppose...
Take morality out of it.

He doesn't know how to stay out of the spotlight and is a major distraction and bad example for other players on the team. While this team can handle distractions better than most... there is a limit at some point.

Keep your fucking mouth shut and the other stuff is forgotten in a week, but no, he has to keep fucking up in new and inventive ways.
Nobody knows this better than Belichick, Brady, and the other coaches and captains. If at any point, Belichick thinks he’s a detriment to the team, he’ll get cut. I suspect these texts impact the formula very little from his perspective, but Kraft from a business perspective might reach a different conclusion.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Is AB a litmus test for BBtL posters' morality scale?
From a morality standpoint I'm pretty close to Ed's view. I'm more willing to cut bait from the hedonistic angle. Having to think and talk about AB's exploits currently exceeds the pleasure of watching him catch footballs.
 

k-factory

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They were able to recoup some of Hernandez' bonus money (in fact, Miguel still thinks they might recoup more). The other issue is that Hernandez' contract reportedly didn't have typical CYA language:


It looks like Brown's contract has much stronger language in this regard.
The needle they need to thread is keeping him off KC while recouping his cap hit only if it helps them this year. In the end Kraft’s millions are irrelevant to us. But I’d still say keeping him off KC offsets the material hit they take with this debacle.
 

Ed Hillel

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Seems like a perfectly cromulent question to ask the attorney, especially considering he was on the group text.
Lol no attorney in their right mind would advise a client to do something like this. He might as well have asked “Would you like to be disbarred?”
 
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