He's Gone: Patriots Sans Antonio

RIrooter09

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The biggest mistake in this whole mess was giving him guaranteed money. I never ever understood it from the moment the contract was signed.
We were competing against other teams for his services. What’s difficult to understand?
 

bakahump

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Agreed. It would seem to be a precedent

But AB MIGHT (not saying he will) be willing to be over and done with this. And if his case sucks....IAMNAL...but people settle for lots of reasons.
 

Super Nomario

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Well they could settle for Less money.
"Out Of Pocket" money could be less. NFLPA would be involved here as well I think. But Maybe if Brown says he doesnt care what they think as long as I get my money next Friday....(cause he has basically quit the NFL, so wtf does he care about the Union now).

But unless the NFL agrees/has precedent and rules that allow them to "return the cap money" then that is likely gone.

IOW Cap Money is just a number on a piece of Paper. Where as the actual settlement could be REAL money.
Once could be reduced (and Make Kraft happier), while the other might stick (and impact the cap spending ability of the Pats for the short term).
There are rules and a process for teams reclaiming cap space, though sometimes it takes years (Miguel still thinks the Patriots will get an additional cap credit for Aaron Hernandez at some point; obviously that situation is more complicated than most). The union has an interest in getting players actual money; if teams are taking cap charges without paying the players, that works against that interest.
 

DrewDawg

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Agreed. It would seem to be a precedent

But AB MIGHT (not saying he will) be willing to be over and done with this. And if his case sucks....IAMNAL...but people settle for lots of reasons.
I'm saying I don't think he can.

This isn't a court case where people can agree to meet in the middle.
 

joe dokes

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The biggest mistake in this whole mess was giving him guaranteed money. I never ever understood it from the moment the contract was signed.
The simplest probable answer is that that's what it took to sign him. Teams gamble all the time. Sometimes it's on old players. Sometimes its on players coming back from injury. Sometimes it's on guys like Kirk Cousins. Sometimes it's on great players with potential batshittery.
If you want to argue that they shouldn't have signed him at all if that's what it took, that's different. But I think it's pretty easy to understand why he got the guarantee.
 

bakahump

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This isn't a court case where people can agree to meet in the middle.
Why not? I am not being obtuse. I am truly curious. (you may well be right)

If you and I have a contract we can renegotiate at any time.

I agree that the NFLPA complicates matters. But IN THEORY if AB said Screw you guys....I am not participating in your efforts against the Pats....would the NFLPA be able to do much?
Why would AB do that you ask? Well again in theory if the pats said "look we have you by the balls. There is a non Zero chance (say 50-50) that with all the shit that has come out we can get out by not paying you a dime. Will you take 5 Million? Or do you want to chance it, pay lawyers 100s of K and maybe come out with zip.?"

I agree this is mostly theoretical because we have never had (that I can recall) a player be in this situation.
 

InstaFace

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We were competing against other teams for his services. What’s difficult to understand?
right it was widely reported he almost went to Seattle, right? We probably won the bidding only narrowly, as much as he publicly expressed pride about the chance to play for our team.
 

DrewDawg

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Why not? I am not being obtuse. I am truly curious. (you may well be right)

If you and I have a contract we can renegotiate at any time.
Because professional sports isn't the same thing. I'm not sure what else to tell you. There's nothing to renegotiate--the Patriots and AB no longer have a contract. They can't negotiate away cap hits and there's no way folks will let Kraft change the amount paid to AB and another amount as the cap hit.

You're the one asking for something that we haven't seen before, I'd think it's incumbent on you to pull some rules and show us how it can happen. You keep asking us to prove why it can't.
 

Dernells Casket n Flagon

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Why not? I am not being obtuse. I am truly curious. (you may well be right)

If you and I have a contract we can renegotiate at any time.

I agree that the NFLPA complicates matters. But IN THEORY if AB said Screw you guys....I am not participating in your efforts against the Pats....would the NFLPA be able to do much?
Why would AB do that you ask? Well again in theory if the pats said "look we have you by the balls. There is a non Zero chance (say 50-50) that with all the shit that has come out we can get out by not paying you a dime. Will you take 5 Million? Or do you want to chance it, pay lawyers 100s of K and maybe come out with zip.?"

I agree this is mostly theoretical because we have never had (that I can recall) a player be in this situation.
Because unions don't want to create an precedent where guaranteed money can be taken away, even voluntarily. Obviously a different sport, but this was a major reason the ARod trade to Boston didn't happen. He agreed to reduce his salary but the union blocked it from happening.
 

bakahump

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I understand the Union doesnt want a precedent. But I guess what I am suggesting (or asking) is this really isnt up to the union.

If I am understanding this correctly.

Baka is a Union member.
Baka gets "fired". (Quite possibly for good reason)
Baka has a Shitty (or at the very least potentially shitty chance) of winning an Arb Case to get his full salary.

It seems that those with more expertise in these matters then I do are saying that "The Union wont let me renegotiate". By extension they will fight my case regardless of the chances of success.

If I know I have a shitty chance.
And I have the option of getting a guaranteed pay off at a reduced rate, wouldnt I consider that? Regardless of the unions wishes?
And If I do is there no mechanism for me to cease the union pushing a potentially losing case on my behalf? (Something as simple as quitting the union? or refusing to cooperate with them in there case against my employer?)

How does Baka ask the union to cease representing me/push my interests?

If representing me would cause more harm then good, dont I have the ability to cease that representation?

As a member or former member of the union am I now obligated to be be beholden to their wishes and not my own?

I think the AROD comparison falls short in that he was going to be in baseball for 10 more years. While Brown is evidently ready to take his money and live on an island. In one case you needed to be in the union or be a Scab, in the other your essentially retiring and no longer need or care about the union.
 

DrewDawg

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It's not the same kind of union or contract. Your job didn't have a salary cap. AB cannot renegotiate a contract that he is no longer party to. This isn't you agreeing to pay your neighbor $100 to cut your lawn a few times while you are out of town, then thinking he did a shitty job and refuse to pay and the two of you agreeing on $75. Even if the first contract is completely legal, you two are legally able to alter it. That's not the case here.

If you can find some story or tweet from an NFL guy saying what you're talking about then fine, but if not you're asking the same question different ways and admitting that it's unprecedented and wanting to know why it can't happen.

Perhaps @Otto is out there...
 

HowBoutDemSox

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If you and I have a contract we can renegotiate at any time.
But in this case there’s an overarching CBA that governs the kinds of contracts players and teams can enter into, and it governs the salary cap implications of those contracts. Unless the CBA allows for indepenandly negotiated settlements that are applied to a team’s cap number, the team and the player can’t just hash it out on their own and then present it to the league to just accept it.
 

TheoShmeo

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The biggest mistake in this whole mess was giving him guaranteed money. I never ever understood it from the moment the contract was signed.
Except that the Pats were not the only game in town.

To land Brown, the Pats had to beat other offers.

I doubt that it came down to just the desire to play with Brady and for a legitimate SB contender.

The Pats took a calculated risk and paid what the market required to land the player.

One thing Bill is not is careless with guarantees.

Edit: Oops, I missed that Joe Dokes already addressed this point.
 

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Because professional sports isn't the same thing. I'm not sure what else to tell you. There's nothing to renegotiate--the Patriots and AB no longer have a contract. They can't negotiate away cap hits and there's no way folks will let Kraft change the amount paid to AB and another amount as the cap hit.

You're the one asking for something that we haven't seen before, I'd think it's incumbent on you to pull some rules and show us how it can happen. You keep asking us to prove why it can't.
I think the issue wouldn’t be a contract renegotiation. Rather, a settlement would be to drop the grievance in exchange for money. This would, of course, depend on how likely AB thought he was to win in front of an arbitrator. Also, it would leave the issue of what the Patriots are allowed to do unresolved, as it would never go to arbitration.

That said, I’m not sure it’s allowed, especially if the NFLPA wants to push the grievance-which they would. So, like, when the NFLPA and a player disagree, I know it gets complicated. I don’t know if the union can prevent AB from dropping the grievance, which the union would not want because of guaranteed money being such an important issue to them.

But unless there’s a CBA/union issue preventing it that I don’t understand, a person choosing to settle rather than go to arbitration (or some other dispute resolution forum) isn’t that unusual, and doesn’t require a contract renegotiation or anything like that.
 

lexrageorge

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I do believe that if the NFLPA does file a grievance, it would be heard by the arbitrator in the not too distant future. Likely too late for any cap relief this season, but probably in time for the 2020 league year. All parties, including the NFLPA, would want clarity on the situation, and I cannot imagine it's more than a hearing and time for the arbitrator to decide. Otherwise, why bother with the arbitration in the first place?

I guess AB could theoretically decide he's truly done with everything NFL related, and he would not support the NFLPA's action no matter what. Not sure what that does, but I have to believe it would make it less likely the NFLPA would win that case.

Regarding settlement: it would depend if the CBA allows such settlement of grievances. Teams and players do often come to terms on contract buyouts, usually in the event of a release due to injury (aka, released with injury designation). And several media types that are normally fairly reliable have mentioned the term "settlement", so it is possible there may be provisions in the CBA for settlement of grievances.
 

BigJimEd

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And several media types that are normally fairly reliable have mentioned the term "settlement", so it is possible there may be provisions in the CBA for settlement of grievances.
I know Michael McCann, law professor and SI legal analyst, has talked about a settlement being a possibility.
 

bakahump

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I think part of the disconnect from my ask/argument/being wrong is that I look at the salary cap and what they Will or Could eventually pay as 2 different things.

I get it the salary cap isnt getting any better UNLESS the Union Loses AND the NFL agrees that the Pats get Cap relief because a player went off the rails.

The amount of REAL Money that gets paid to AB is totally different.

In a standard arrangement the Pats have x amount of Cap space. We pay Y player all or part of that amount.

In this situation the Pats have 12 Million in cap space. They agree to "pay" 9 million to AB. Leaving 3 Million.


In Real life because AB has a terrible case. And could potentially end up with nothing, he agrees to accept 5 Million, instead of the 9 Million his contract states. Both sides (PAts and AB) agree that the Contract has been paid and forego any future dealings in regards to this.

The Cap hit stays the same. The Pats still have only 3 Million. But Kraft saves 4 Million from the bottom line.

Maybe at some nebulous future date the Patriots, NFL and NFLPA all agree or its decided by an arbitrator that his contract was invalidated by his actions. All three agree that in 2023 the Patriots get 9 Million extra in cap Space. (But thier 5 Million in actual money is gone).
(Or maybe the NFL and NFLPA all agree that the contract isnt invalidated.....and the Patriots never get any Cap relief).

The Pats get out of this for $5mil
AB Gets $5 mil
NFLPA doesnt have to do much defending a guys who seems tough to defend.
The NFL protects the shield.
The Games integrity "is protected" as the Salary Cap number (for the time being pending more info) For the pats (-9) stays the same.
 

dcmissle

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I know Michael McCann, law professor and SI legal analyst, has talked about a settlement being a possibility.
Sure it’s a possibility. There is no way the NFLPA can prevent AB from settling for an amount acceptable to him short of the maximum.

Once that settlement were to occur, it would be legally binding. And it would resolve the cap hits.
 

DrewDawg

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Sure it’s a possibility. There is no way the NFLPA can prevent AB from settling for an amount acceptable to him short of the maximum.
The NFLPA wouldn't like it. And likely wouldn't like the Patriots doing it.

It seems all too neat and easy--and it hasn't happened before?
 

Joe D Reid

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Sure it’s a possibility. There is no way the NFLPA can prevent AB from settling for an amount acceptable to him short of the maximum.

Once that settlement were to occur, it would be legally binding. And it would resolve the cap hits.
I don't claim to have special knowledge of the NFL salary cap rules, but are we certain about the bolded? For older players in hockey, the cash paid out pursuant to a contract settlement does not necessarily equal the salary cap hit of that settlement. So while you can buy a player out of the future years of his contract for less than the remaining salary in the contract, the cap hits for the future years remain the same. The NBA has had variants of this idea through the years as well. The idea is that the cash pay out is between the team and the player, but the competitive balance/salary cap implications are between the team and the league.
 

dcmissle

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I don't claim to have special knowledge of the NFL salary cap rules, but are we certain about the bolded? For older players in hockey, the cash paid out pursuant to a contract settlement does not necessarily equal the salary cap hit of that settlement. So while you can buy a player out of the future years of his contract for less than the remaining salary in the contract, the cap hits for the future years remain the same. The NBA has had variants of this idea through the years as well. The idea is that the cash pay out is between the team and the player, but the competitive balance/salary cap implications are between the team and the league.
I am far from a salary cap expert, but we’re talking about a two-year contract with a heavy bonus component. A settlement would pinpoint to the penny how much he gets. The second year obviously is extinguished.

But it’s probably not worth the effort. One of two things would probably be necessary to get Kraft to sign off on any payment to AB. A court order confirming an arbitration award, or the presence of Luca Brasi.
 

lambeau

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So Ryan Ursillo says BB did a quick and dirty deal with Rosenhaus heavy on guarantees and light on protections for the team--if upstairs is leaking this, BB could be extra testy, if that could be detectable.
 

Otto

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It's not the same kind of union or contract. Your job didn't have a salary cap. AB cannot renegotiate a contract that he is no longer party to. This isn't you agreeing to pay your neighbor $100 to cut your lawn a few times while you are out of town, then thinking he did a shitty job and refuse to pay and the two of you agreeing on $75. Even if the first contract is completely legal, you two are legally able to alter it. That's not the case here.

If you can find some story or tweet from an NFL guy saying what you're talking about then fine, but if not you're asking the same question different ways and admitting that it's unprecedented and wanting to know why it can't happen.

Perhaps @Otto is out there...
They settle and account for cap hits on smaller things - like injury grievances or daily fines for guys who don't report. Those are comparatively boring and don't get much attention, so this will be viewed differently, but the concept exists. I've negotiated lots of them.
 

lexrageorge

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If AB loses the grievance (assuming one gets filed), the Pats automatically get cap relief. There is a question on the timing, but Miguel, who understands this stuff really well, has stated they would get relief on next year's cap.

Unsure what would happen if there is a settlement, as that is some serious arcana of the CBA.
 

ZMart100

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They settle and account for cap hits on smaller things - like injury grievances or daily fines for guys who don't report. Those are comparatively boring and don't get much attention, so this will be viewed differently, but the concept exists. I've negotiated lots of them.
Thanks for the info. What's the typical time frame to get a resolution on these matters?
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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There is nothing that prohibits the player and the club or the league from settling a non-injury grievance. There may be something in the union bylaws that requires player to seek or obtain union consent. In fact, there is actually a committee comprised of player and management reps that meets once per year and can settle all pending grievances without club, union or player consent.

The first question one needs to know is who filed the grievance. The player can do it without involving the NFLPA other than to give the union notice. Or the NFLPA can file on the player’s behalf, as the union did for example in the Article 46 challenge to Commissioner discipline and subsequent litigation in Brady.

Only the party who brings the grievance can settle it but there is no way the union is going to refuse a player who has a debatable case and is being offered millions that he wants to take.

Then is the question of how a settlement affects the cap. I believe I read in a recent article that there is a precedent where a player and a club settled a non injury salary grievance and the cap charge was deemed the settlement amount.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Timing: Player or NFLPA get 50 days to file. (In this case since payment has not been made it is a player grievance. If it were for recupouoment it would be a club grievance.) Club gets ten days to answer. If not resolved by agreement answering party must initiate arbitration. Arbitrators each give 10 days during the year when they will hear cases, exclusive of July to September.) Parties get one of those dates. If the parties agree to file post hearing briefs (likely here) add 30 to 60 days. Arbitrator issues award within 30 days. Loser can seek judicial review but good luck.

NFLPA gets four wild cards per year where they can demand an immediate or expedited hearing but it looks as though these are intended for grievances that involve suspension.
 

bakahump

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This one is different in that AB has enough personal Capitol that "excluding the union" is an actual option.

In Most cases I have to believe the idea is "I dont have the cash/resources to fight the NFL/an NFL team. So I will let the Union do it for me!"

Its also "Different" in that in most cases the Player probably has a good case. AB Might or (IMHO) might not.

The Patriots and NFL want this to "GO AWAY" ASAP.

Finally he says he is done with the NFL. So he might not care about the union/other players etc etc. Only getting "his" or his best possible outcome.

Add all 4 and those are the reasons I proposed a Settlement as possible.
 

InstaFace

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That's a very strong article, brings lots of facts and expert opinions to the table.

I didn't know that arbitrators had consistently upheld the CBA's rules over those of an individual contract when they conflict. That's interesting.

As for why it takes so long, I wish I knew too - I guess that's just the grievance arbitration process, the NFLPA only gets a certain number of hearings they can expedite per year, right?
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Hypothetically, what happens if the Pats bring back AB this or next year? The previous cap hit stands and they absorb another cap hit with the new contract?
 

BigSoxFan

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Sounds like the Pats caved a bit to get him in the fold. Really stinks that he turned out to be such a nut job. Still get the sense that Brady wasn’t on board with the release.
 

loshjott

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Sounds like the Pats caved a bit to get him in the fold. Really stinks that he turned out to be such a nut job. Still get the sense that Brady wasn’t on board with the release.
Curran has a decent article I didn't see posted here yesterday.

Patriots fallout: Taking stock of the damage left by Antonio Brown

Re Brady:
Here’s what Brown left behind.

A bummed-out quarterback who had five practices and one game with an ultra-rare talent. He went all-in trying to make it work, got close to Brown and tried to understand and help him. He’s not happy Brown got flushed both because the football was going to be sublime and Brady thought Brown was reachable.

I was told the practice performance of Brady when Brown was on the field was almost perfect. There were more than a half-dozen plays Brown made that were breathtaking. He was beyond anything Brady ever worked with.

Brady was trying to help Brown stabilize. He disagrees with the business decision made by Robert Kraft to jettison Brown.
 

BigJimEd

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Sounds like the Pats caved a bit to get him in the fold. Really stinks that he turned out to be such a nut job. Still get the sense that Brady wasn’t on board with the release.
I don't think I'll ever understand why the Pats gave him that contract. Seems so out of character unless they truly believe they do have an out.
Waste of $9M.
 

DrewDawg

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I don't think I'll ever understand why the Pats gave him that contract. Seems so out of character unless they truly believe they do have an out.
Waste of $9M.
They had to give him something because there was at least 1 other team in the running. I think we just need to accept that the Patriots took a risk that did not work out.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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They had to give him something because there was at least 1 other team in the running. I think we just need to accept that the Patriots took a risk that did not work out.
I also think people tend to have an inflated sense of what can typically be done with in-season cap space. The best player you could generally hope to get is probably, well, someone on the level of a just-past-peak Antonio Brown.
 

Vinho Tinto

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I also think people tend to have an inflated sense of what can typically be done with in-season cap space. The best player you could generally hope to get is probably, well, someone on the level of a just-past-peak Antonio Brown.
Or have a strange attachment to Robert Kraft's money not being optimally spent. As you said, they had already budgeted their roster for the season. AB was an expensive scratch ticket.
 

DrewDawg

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I know we'd all like to add Jalen Ramsey or AJ Green or whatever, but that was likely not happening even if we had the cap space--they'd require additional assets to get, likely rather significant ones. They had the space to take a shot at Brown and it didn't work.

Next man up.
 

BigSoxFan

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Sometimes you have to make sub-optimal deals to get things done. I think this was one of those times. I’m more surprised that Brady/BB couldn’t talk Kraft into keeping AB around a little longer. I don’t believe Brady when he says he doesn’t have any input. He is the franchise. Kraft made the decision but I bet they talked.
 

BigSoxFan

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That's what it sounds like to me and that's part of the reason he's been so "open" about his unhappiness.
I dunno. I would bet they keep him in the loop on major personnel decisions. Would love to know the inner workings of the team at some point.
 

dcmissle

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Sometimes you have to make sub-optimal deals to get things done. I think this was one of those times. I’m more surprised that Brady/BB couldn’t talk Kraft into keeping AB around a little longer. I don’t believe Brady when he says he doesn’t have any input. He is the franchise. Kraft made the decision but I bet they talked.
I’m not surprised. You can’t have one of your employees attacking on social media someone who has made a claim — with the attack including veiled threats and pictures of the claimant’s children. It’s a completely untenable situation for an owner. And there was no evidence that stuff like this would stop. All the evidence is to the contrary.
 

BigJimEd

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They had to give him something because there was at least 1 other team in the running. I think we just need to accept that the Patriots took a risk that did not work out.
I can accept it. I just think it was a rare unforced error. I doubt another team was offering that much upfront given his history. If they were then walk away.
I think of Seattle signed him to that same contract most Pats fans would probably be taking a different view of the deal.

I also think people tend to have an inflated sense of what can typically be done with in-season cap space. The best player you could generally hope to get is probably, well, someone on the level of a just-past-peak Antonio Brown.
It is not just in-season. It's next offseason as well. Any money they don't spend gets carried over.
I don't want to sound like they're doomed or anything. Far from it. It's not the biggest hit but it will hinder things to a small degree this off season.


As I said I don't want overstate things. It's far from the end of the world. Plenty of teams have wasted much more. Pitt still has AB on the books for something like $20M. This just seems a bit out of character for the Patriots but AB is an incredible talent.
 

joe dokes

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Sometimes you have to make sub-optimal deals to get things done. I think this was one of those times. I’m more surprised that Brady/BB couldn’t talk Kraft into keeping AB around a little longer. I don’t believe Brady when he says he doesn’t have any input. He is the franchise. Kraft made the decision but I bet they talked.

Which is all fine with me. Unless Kraft has lost his mind, he *should* keep Brady and Belichick in the loop on things like this and he *should* welcome their input. And by the same token, Brady and Belichick both understand that Kraft gets to make this decision, should understand why he's making this one, and should be disappointed that they have to lose a talented player. And I also think that Brady and Belichick are both mature enough not to suggest that Kraft is either undermining BB or "not trying to win" or whatever dumbass thing a player might say when a good player is released. As has been repeated over and over, these 3 are in uncharted waters and I think they all know that.
 

BigSoxFan

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I’m not surprised. You can’t have one of your employees attacking on social media someone who has made a claim — with the attack including veiled threats and pictures of the claimant’s children. It’s a completely untenable situation for an owner. And there was no evidence that stuff like this would stop. All the evidence is to the contrary.
Wasn’t that attack on group text and not social media? I get Kraft’s decision and have no issues with it.
 

snowmanny

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Could they have just said he's going to be inactive for the Jets and who knows maybe for awhile while we learn more? Still practices, etc.

Ed: Not advocating they should have done this. Just asking what people think.
 

loshjott

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Could they have just said he's going to be inactive for the Jets and who knows maybe for awhile while we learn more? Still practices, etc.

Ed: Not advocating they should have done this. Just asking what people think.
I was wondering if they had the Chiefs week 3 instead of the Jets if they make the same decision at the same time. Probably, and I'd like to think so, but maybe not.