He's Gone: Patriots Sans Antonio

BigSoxFan

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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.
Would be an interesting hypothetical. Sounds like Kraft was (rightfully) PISSED about this so I think he was probably done under any circumstances. The Patriots will clearly forgive past transgressions but they certainly don't give much leeway when you've joined the team.
 

lexrageorge

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The transgression was serious enough that even had he not been cut, he most likely would have ended up on the exempt list. That probably had something to do with the Pats decision, and why Belichick probably didn't raise a big stink about it even if he initially disagreed with Kraft, who clearly wanted him gone.
 

Super Nomario

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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.
As far as I know there's no evidence that Brady gets any say in personnel decisions. He's said he doesn't, no one has suggested he does, and certainly Belichick has gotten rid of enough of his favorites through the years.

I'm sure they're aware of how Brady feels about his offensive teammates and that enters their decision-making at points (Patrick Pass was an example from one of the Holley books; the coaching staff didn't like his toughness but Charlie Weis pointed out that the quarterbacks all liked him). That's pretty different than consulting him on moves.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I’m intrigued by the “Brady thought he could get through to him,” story-line.
Me too.

Lot of it is just who Brady is (TB12 is him "sharing" his magic formula to other athletes & I accept his sincerity on this).

Some of it must be how he felt after meeting him & working with him for those 2 brief weeks. AB's work ethic & demeanor while in the building reportedly left a positive impression on virtually everyone. It seems no one was more impressed than TB himself.

TB should get credit for working with Gordon so far. I'm taking his word at face value regarding AB as well.
 

InstaFace

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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.
My read is the opposite, I think the decision was made without any talking to Brady and Brady wishes he'd had the opportunity to persuade Kraft not to pull the trigger, to give Brady a chance to "help him stabilize". Brady likely would have offered to make public appearances to publicly stand up for Brown, try and take some heat off him, etc. If Belichick couldn't talk Kraft off of cutting Brown, I doubt Brady would have succeeded, but it sounds to me like he wasn't given a shot at it.

There's no question the cutting of Brown was a rash decision. It may not have been a wrong decision, but it was a decision made by Kraft, by all accounts, both hastily and in-anger.

As for the cap space, $10M buys a lot of marginal roster quality, that we just pissed down the drain. Yes, it was a risk worth taking, but it ought to be understandable that some of us will cry a bit over that spilled milk. We don't care if Kraft can put it in his pocket or not, we care that it's not going towards adding value to the roster. We ought to be a little bummed about that, because the Brady / Belichick window isn't forever.
 

BigSoxFan

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As far as I know there's no evidence that Brady gets any say in personnel decisions. He's said he doesn't, no one has suggested he does, and certainly Belichick has gotten rid of enough of his favorites through the years.

I'm sure they're aware of how Brady feels about his offensive teammates and that enters their decision-making at points (Patrick Pass was an example from one of the Holley books; the coaching staff didn't like his toughness but Charlie Weis pointed out that the quarterbacks all liked him). That's pretty different than consulting him on moves.
You may be right. I feel like they would consult with Brady before making a move like signing AB but hard to know without knowing how they operate. Clearly, part of the success of the team is predicated on no star treatment for anyone, even Brady.
 

lexrageorge

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My read is the opposite, I think the decision was made without any talking to Brady and Brady wishes he'd had the opportunity to persuade Kraft not to pull the trigger, to give Brady a chance to "help him stabilize". Brady likely would have offered to make public appearances to publicly stand up for Brown, try and take some heat off him, etc. If Belichick couldn't talk Kraft off of cutting Brown, I doubt Brady would have succeeded, but it sounds to me like he wasn't given a shot at it.

There's no question the cutting of Brown was a rash decision. It may not have been a wrong decision, but it was a decision made by Kraft, by all accounts, both hastily and in-anger.

As for the cap space, $10M buys a lot of marginal roster quality, that we just pissed down the drain. Yes, it was a risk worth taking, but it ought to be understandable that some of us will cry a bit over that spilled milk. We don't care if Kraft can put it in his pocket or not, we care that it's not going towards adding value to the roster. We ought to be a little bummed about that, because the Brady / Belichick window isn't forever.
I disagree that it was hasty or rash. The information was out there, and it was clear by mid-day Friday what AB had done and that it was wrong and likely going to lead to further punishment from the NFL.

Belichick has said many times that Brady is the quarterback. They are not going to get Brady's approval on any such moves. They've traded Mankins without talking to Brady first.
 

DrewDawg

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Belichick has said many times that Brady is the quarterback. They are not going to get Brady's approval on any such moves. They've traded Mankins without talking to Brady first.
By the way, Tim Wright didn't amount to much, but the pick we got for Mankins turned into Trey Flowers. Pretty good deal for the last 2 years of Mankins career.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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If the Patriots didn't consult with Brady, I'm happy. It's not his decision and the idea that they would let a player, even the greatest one ever to play the game, try to make a case that he could save Brown is troubling.

Whether or not he should be given the courtesy of a heads up depends on the nature of the relationship. And certainly, I have no problem with Brady being consulted on lots of stuff like playbook and whether to kick a field goal on fourth and inches in the closing minutes of the Super Bowl. But for personnel decisions there really can only be one captain of the ship and to do it any other way is way too loosey goosey for me.

Brady's opinion on whether or not the allegations against Brown warrant his being on the team is just not an opinion I care about, other than that I have some concern that if he thinks he should be involved in those kind of decisions and he's going to sulk about it or leave in free agency, I'm disappointed.

Edit: And even personnel decisions like "should we cut A or B because we can only keep one" are the kinds of things Brady should be involved in. But when is a rape allegation and some improvident texts too much for the Club? Nope.
 

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You may be right. I feel like they would consult with Brady before making a move like signing AB but hard to know without knowing how they operate. Clearly, part of the success of the team is predicated on no star treatment for anyone, even Brady.
Given what we’ve seen of thecose working relationship Brady and Belichick have, it would seem to me that whether or not Brady’s input is considered is really just a matter of semantics.

Belichick makes it his business to know what Brady thinks. And probably not just Brady.
 

lexrageorge

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Well, the word is this was a Kraft call and usually BB is the captain of the ship.
The general consensus seems to be that Belichick did not necessarily agree with Kraft's decision, but he wasn't going to die on the hill for Antonio Brown either. And that he has since moved on.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Well, the word is this was a Kraft call and usually BB is the captain of the ship.
Yeah, I guess at the end of the day the guy who owns the ship does get to overrule or fire his captain. Even more reason that I think Brady's opinion about what off-field conduct warrants being cut is not all that relevant. If this was one of the rare times when the big cheese decided to weigh in then Brady's view of second chances or the seriousness of civil allegations strikes me as not very important.

I suppose there is some role for Brady to play here. I mean if Brown were not doing well in practice anyway maybe that's even more reason to make the call to cut him. So, I suppose the part that Brady is concerned with does have some relevance for the ultimate decision.
 

quint

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a really good source
You really need to provide evidence of this. Or anything really.

Edit: this isn't just you, axx. More "Kraft ordered the code red" talk without real evidence. I didn't mean to single you out.
Bill coaches the team.

Antonio practiced on the field last Friday.

Then he was cut.

These aren’t hard dots to connect.
 

lexrageorge

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It's been widely reported from multiple news sources that Kraft wanted Brown gone after the news about the text messages came out. I don't believe additional evidence is necessary to make that claim.

IIRC, Kraft was away on Friday morning. Belichick was not going to change the team's practice routine based solely on media reports, so Brown practiced. Kraft and Belichick likely met after practice, and the team did their due diligence on the incident. What's clearly speculation is whether Belichick agreed or disagreed with the decision, and how strongly. We'll need to wait for the next Seth Wickersham article to find out, obviously.
 

Harry Hooper

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Greg Bedard anticipated a release after practice. He posted that Friday morning that if Brown practiced that day he still might be released the same day because his absence from practice would immediately goose speculation and would be the focus of the media for Bill's scheduled press conference.
 

DrewDawg

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You really need to provide evidence of this. Or anything really.

Edit: this isn't just you, axx. More "Kraft ordered the code red" talk without real evidence. I didn't mean to single you out.
What's evidence? We weren't in the room and there were media reports that this was Kraft's call.

Here's one:

 

lambeau

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It's silly to make a controversy out of TB12's opinion--he's properly focused solely on football.
I don't think Kraft had much choice. While AB was impressively disciplined at Gillette--and BB correctly forecast he could control him there-- he demonstrated that he continued to be out of control after hours.
The artist astutely involved Christine Blassy Ford's high-powered feminist law firm, which got the League to immediately call Robert and demand AB cease and desist; at that point I suspect Robert was informed the Exempt List was likely, requiring him to pay AB without the PR advantage of cutting him. It's pretty clear at this point nobody can sign AB because they know that would immediately trigger the Exempt List.
In related news, the Metropolitan Opera tried to open Macbeth this week with the sexually-accused Placido Domingo, thinking they would ignore the flak--they dropped him 24 hours before opening, after rehearsals.
In the entertainment business especially, #metoo is a third rail, and AB jumped on it with both feet.
 

InstaFace

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I hadn't heard about Placido Domingo. Guess we're down to only Two One Tenor. And it's the one who had leukemia.
 
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DrewDawg

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Got a push alert today that AB filed 9 grievances---trying to get cash from Raiders and Patriots.
 

lexrageorge

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Got a push alert today that AB filed 9 grievances---trying to get cash from Raiders and Patriots.
One of the 9 is for the $20M the Pats were supposed to pay out in 2020. Zero chance of winning that one since it was for future salary that wasn't ever guaranteed.
 

RetractableRoof

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If he isn't going to play this year anyway - it makes sense that he wouldn't do anything to damage his civil suit defense or provide information that would harm his 325 grievances he's filed.
 

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If he isn't going to play this year anyway - it makes sense that he wouldn't do anything to damage his civil suit defense or provide information that would harm his 325 grievances he's filed.
It makes sense, but I suspect it has more to do with him not wanting to talk to the kind of suits he sees as his enemy and less about actually keeping quiet, which he has proved unable to do even with significant financial stakes involved.

Shit, the guy publicly solicited a professional reader for his first English paper to ensure a good grade on Twitter. He is not cunning.
 

RetractableRoof

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It makes sense, but I suspect it has more to do with him not wanting to talk to the kind of suits he sees as his enemy and less about actually keeping quiet, which he has proved unable to do even with significant financial stakes involved.

Shit, the guy publicly solicited a professional reader for his first English paper to ensure a good grade on Twitter. He is not cunning.
Maybe one of his lawyers got him to understand that it wouldn't be in his best interest. I do think that he is in his own way crazy like a fox. For example the guy turns the religious stuff on and off at a whim, whenever he thinks it has value for him. Who knows though, he's in a much different place than I am - I'd be foolish to even suppose what is in/on his mind.
 

DrewDawg

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In a 35-page motion requesting court sanctions this week, an opposing attorney in a property damage lawsuit against Antonio Brown accused the star NFL wideout of “tumultuous tirades”, “defiant rants” and “profane language” that the lawyer claims derailed the taking of a deposition in the case in late September.
 

Reverend

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This part captured my imagination:

  • “[C]hanted, over and over, as if a mantra, a narrative of his own warped concept of the proceeding.”
I’d probably keep him away from league officials for the time being.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I'd love to see the motion, but I can't find it online. Anyone see a story that actually links it?

Apparently, they did a video deposition and there is a dispute whether it need to be filed under seal as part of the motion. That's got to be pretty entertaining. So far, this landlord has kicked ass in the litigation. It has to be more than about the money for him. The amount in dispute is nowhere in the neighborhood that would justify paying for a video deposition. Also, apparently, they litigated the issue whether Brown's texts to Rosenhaus about the case are privileged and Brown lost that battle, which is quietly pretty interesting as a legal issue.
 

DebSox

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I'd love to see the motion, but I can't find it online. Anyone see a story that actually links it?

Apparently, they did a video deposition and there is a dispute whether it need to be filed under seal as part of the motion. That's got to be pretty entertaining. So far, this landlord has kicked ass in the litigation. It has to be more than about the money for him. The amount in dispute is nowhere in the neighborhood that would justify paying for a video deposition. Also, apparently, they litigated the issue whether Brown's texts to Rosenhaus about the case are privileged and Brown lost that battle, which is quietly pretty interesting as a legal issue.
See posts above. AB is being sued by owner of luxury condo unit he rented for $100,000 of damages. This could be the same place where he threw furniture off the balcony and almost hit an adult and toddler.

Considering the cost of a video deposition is $400-$1000, this would be money well spent by the plaintiff’s attorney considering how “crazy” and unstable AB appears to be.
 

InstaFace

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If he keeps up that act, the condo owner might get attorney's fees. Could be money not even well-spent, just well-fronted.
 

DrewDawg

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This part seems interesting. Maybe it's been out there before and I just didn't catch it:

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero (h/t NFL.com's Grant Gordon), the deal included offset language that reduced the amount Brown could pursue if he filed a grievance over his voided guarantees.
 

Mueller's Twin Grannies

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If he wanted to play for the Pat's, maybe dont shit all over the owner in tweets? I dunno...
AB seems extremely unhinged. I think his mental health situation borders on bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, speaking strictly as an armchair psychoanalyst, and he may not even recall going off on these rants and may even not believe that he did. I have (well, had, we don't talk anymore) who is schizophrenic and he would do and say some really crazy shit when he was off his meds (which was most of the time) or drunk (which was most of the time), but was a regular dude when he was medicated and not wasted. I know people have scoffed at the idea that the Burfict hit really messed him up but it might have at least done further damage to what was already a deteriorating condition. He rarely comes across as all there when you see his tweets or in these stories. It's pretty sad stuff, really, though it doesn't excuse the behavior.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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That big article about a week ago on his grievances at Yahoo Sports indicated that clauses that deviate from the standard CBA-approved language tend to get ignored in arbitration.
That article is not very good and I have some skepticism that this is actually true. That is to say that I don't believe that arbitrators simply reject any provisions that supplement the standard CBA player contract.

I think what the article is referring to is that in the CBA itself there actually is a provision that does not allow deviations for forfeitures of "earned Salary." Accordingly, it's not that arbitrators are reluctant to enforce provisions in contracts that supplement the CBA. The issue is that the CBA itself says that there are certain areas in which the contract is not permitted to deviate from the CBA.

I think the arbitrator's analysis goes something like this:

1. Is there language in this contract that allows the Patriots to either void the contract or to withhold payment? If the answer is yes, move on to question 2. If the answer is no, AB wins.

2. Is the language that the Patriots are relying on language that the CBA allowed the Patriots to put in the contract? If yes, Patriots win. If no, AB wins.

I posted a bit about question 2 in one of the prior threads that we had about legal issues and AB. The CBA is clear as mud on this. Article IV Section 9(a) of the CBA says very clearly that players and clubs cannot agree to provisions that would forfeit "earned Salary" for any reason outside specifically enumerated events which do not apply here. If that section is the only section that applies, AB will win.

Section 9(g), however, is entitled "voiding of guarantees" and it allows players and clubs freely to negotiate any conditions under which "unearned Salary" may be voided.

It is entirely not clear whether bonuses agreed to but not yet paid count as earned Salary or unearned Salary, and I think that will be the key question in the arbitration. The Yahoo article and much of the commentary that I have seen treat the issue as obvious for "signing" bonuses -- that is, that they are fully earned on signing. But the idea of a "signing" bonus is not CBA language. Maybe this issue is very clear and there is a practice that makes it obvious. But the Yahoo article certainly doesn't take on this complicated wrinkle and there seems to be an underlying failure to grapple with this issue.

Separate from all this there actually is a third question.

3. Do standard contract formation issue defenses apply to CBA contracts? If the answer to that is yes then the Patriots may very well have a contract formation defense based on nondisclosure depending on the language of the contract and the representations or material omissions that were made by AB or Rosenhaus, which is an issue none of the genius commentators have touched. Again, maybe it is clear that standard contract formation defenses are not permitted under the CBA or under some federal labor law common law. But the CBA at least appears to me to be silent on the matter.
 
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joe dokes

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Unless he has a very large retainer and the check has cleared, Attorney Heitner should fire his client. he may want to fire him anyway and return what's left.
 

dcmissle

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None of this matters insofar as our real time 2019 salary cap situation is concerned. The arbitration will not occur before the spring of 2020.

Insofar as AB reunions are concerned — assuming Kraft could be mollified, which he probably can’t — Roger Goodell is holding a .357. It’s named the Exempt List. The only way we could fuck this situation up more than it is already is to give Roger a reason to pull that trigger.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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None of this matters insofar as our real time 2019 salary cap situation is concerned.
Well, it matters a little. Anticipated cap space in a future year gives you more freedom to manage your cap in the current year without unduly worrying that you're mortgaging your future.

The most common example is when a player who had LTBE incentives gets injured and will not meet them. If you know you have $2 million cap credit coming next year you can make a move this year in equal amount to free up 2019 cap space since it's all a zero sum game. So, like convert some salary to bonus now for $2 million since it's just going to net out next year and so you're effectively just taking your 2020 cap credit in 2019.

So if the Patriots were very bullish on the grievance they could find ways to spend the cap space today, especially if they had a trade in the works. From all the reporting it sounds as though the Patriots should not be feeling bullish in any way about winning the grievance but to the extent they know something we don't, it could impact 2019 cap maneuvering.
 

lexrageorge

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...

So if the Patriots were very bullish on the grievance they could find ways to spend the cap space today, especially if they had a trade in the works. From all the reporting it sounds as though the Patriots should not be feeling bullish in any way about winning the grievance but to the extent they know something we don't, it could impact 2019 cap maneuvering.
Technically, there are multiple grievances against the Pats. One is for the guaranteed money that the Pats withheld, which is what is being discussed. He also filed a grievance for the non-guaranteed money ($20M) he would have earned had he played for the Pats in 2020, which I highly doubt he is going to win.

I tend to agree that if Brown wasn't cut, he would be on the Exempt list right about now, and the Pats would be worried about bigger problems than just this season's cap space.
 

dcmissle

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You giving the Pats any comfort on how that arbitration is going to turn out? I certainly wouldn’t. I’d advise them to assume a loss across the board, and if things turn out better, then maybe you can roll some cap space forward.

The bitch of this is all AB had to do is STFU after that exemplary Q and A with reporters in the locker room. He would still be playing and probably had clearance for this season.

He is crazy.
 

lexrageorge

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You giving the Pats any comfort on how that arbitration is going to turn out? I certainly wouldn’t. I’d advise them to assume a loss across the board, and if things turn out better, then maybe you can roll some cap space forward.

The bitch of this is all AB had to do is STFU after that exemplary Q and A with reporters in the locker room. He would still be playing and probably had clearance for this season.

He is crazy.
I think it's reasonable to assume that the Pats cannot count on getting the $5M in relief on next year's cap for the Brown signing bonus. Or the $9M rollover from this year's.

I think it's also reasonable to assume that given there was never any intention of AB getting that $20M in non-guaranteed money in 2020, the Pats will win that one. A player can be cut at any time for any reason during the offseason, and they don't get paid their non-guaranteed portion of their contract. That happens all the time in the league.
 

dcmissle

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I think it's reasonable to assume that the Pats cannot count on getting the $5M in relief on next year's cap for the Brown signing bonus. Or the $9M rollover from this year's.

I think it's also reasonable to assume that given there was never any intention of AB getting that $20M in non-guaranteed money in 2020, the Pats will win that one. A player can be cut at any time for any reason during the offseason, and they don't get paid their non-guaranteed portion of their contract. That happens all the time in the league.
Agree.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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You giving the Pats any comfort on how that arbitration is going to turn out?
All I know is that a lot of people have opined about it without actually seeing the contract.

Yeah, my working presumption is that a signing bonus is "earned" when the contract is signed. But without seeing the contract we have no idea. My view could definitely change if I saw it.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Technically, there are multiple grievances against the Pats. One is for the guaranteed money that the Pats withheld, which is what is being discussed. He also filed a grievance for the non-guaranteed money ($20M) he would have earned had he played for the Pats in 2020, which I highly doubt he is going to win.

I tend to agree that if Brown wasn't cut, he would be on the Exempt list right about now, and the Pats would be worried about bigger problems than just this season's cap space.
I think the initial reports of him seeking the $20 million were wrong. It appears he's looking for week 1 pay (a loser), payment for the rest of the year that is current unearned (loser), and the $9 million signing bonus (unclear).

 

DrewDawg

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I think the initial reports of him seeking the $20 million were wrong. It appears he's looking for week 1 pay (a loser), payment for the rest of the year that is current unearned (loser), and the $9 million signing bonus (unclear).

This link includes the $20M from next season:


https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27726349/antonio-brown-poised-file-nfl-record-9-grievances-appealshttps://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/27726349/antonio-brown-poised-file-nfl-record-9-grievances-appeals

The grievances and appeals involve the following issues and sums of money:

• Fine appeals with the Oakland Raiders: $215,000

• Salary guarantees with Oakland: $29 million

• Signing bonus with Raiders: $1 million

• Oakland's unpaid Week 1 salary: $860,000

New England Patriots' salary guarantee: $1 million

• Patriots signing bonus: $9 million

• Patriots' unpaid Week 3 salary: $64,000

• Patriots' option year in 2020: $20 million
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I don't know what to believe.

But I think including the $20 million is probably the right move. I don't do much arbitration but there's a general sense that arbitrators like to find a way to give all sides something -- that is you want to give them a "split the baby" path. So it's not uncommon to include losers so that you make your best case actually look like the middle.