He's Gone: Patriots Sans Antonio

dcmissle

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The Pats will not exceed the cap, even inadvertently. They have highly paid people who's job it is to avoid that from happening.

The lost cap space is still a theoretical concern. There's a non-zero chance the lost space will be zero. But the lost cap space is not an unknown; it would have been no different than if AB torn an ACL last weekend.
Exactly. Which means that the money at stake in any dispute with AB is frozen until the matter is resolved.
 

RedOctober3829

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Patriots owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick jointly determined Friday that wide receiver Antonio Brown had overstayed his welcome.

Kraft, who was on a business trip, became enraged Friday when he heard the details of Brown’s most recently reported incident of text messaging harassment of a former female acquaintance. Kraft and Belichick spoke and decided together to officially release Brown just 11 days after the Patriots signed the controversial star receiver, according to sources.

 

TFisNEXT

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Here is how bad it is:

ESPN is reporting that yesterday’s social media attack was “pivotal” to today’s parting of the ways. Which makes sense.

AB was probably in the clear for the 2019 season. All he had to do was put the phone aside.

It’s probably is not stupidity. It is probably insanity.
Agreed on this. It honestly seems like he cannot help himself. It appears like he suffers from addiction though not of a substance but of his phone in a destructive way.

It has really been morbidly fascinating to watch.
 

PC Drunken Friar

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Agreed on this. It honestly seems like he cannot help himself. It appears like he suffers from addiction though not of a substance but of his phone in a destructive way.

It has really been morbidly fascinating to watch.
I think treating women horribly is more his M.O than being addicted to his phone
 

patinorange

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He’s batshit crazy. I was excited that he was going to be on the field with Brady and hoping he would calm down, but this latest episode is pure insanity. He can’t help himself.
I feel better he’s gone. I hope he does no further damage to innocent people, but I’m not optimistic.
 

BaseballJones

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Yep BFB deserves an ass kicking for taking a low risk chance on a high ceiling guy that he wasn't dependent on. What has he done for us lately?
Amen. I mean it didn’t work out. I’m sure BB knew it might not work out. He took a risk. Everyone knew he’d cut him if it didn’t work out. It didn’t. He cut him. They’ve lost nothing but some cap space. There’s a nonzero chance that it it could cost them wins, but I’d say that it’s probably a very small chance. The potential upside was huge.

Oh well. There’s almost no reason to vilify BB for this. Not actually no reason but almost no reason.
 

RedOctober3829

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Amen. I mean it didn’t work out. I’m sure BB knew it might not work out. He took a risk. Everyone knew he’d cut him if it didn’t work out. It didn’t. He cut him. They’ve lost nothing but some cap space. There’s a nonzero chance that it it could cost them wins, but I’d say that it’s probably a very small chance. The potential upside was huge.

Oh well. There’s almost no reason to vilify BB for this. Not actually no reason but almost no reason.
They did the right thing. Clean slate of past misgivings. Once he screwed up as a Patriot, that was it. See you later.
 

bigq

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Yes. But that was unknown when we signed him. That's when we took the potential risk.
Much of what happened since his signing was unknown. I agree there was risk and that was quite clear based on his behavior prior to the Patriots signing him. My point is it was a calculated risk. I have no love for BB or Antonio Brown. It simply appeared to me that signing Brown was a worthwhile gamble with high upside. The downside became more pronounced the longer he was on the team which didn’t last very long after all. It didn’t work and the Patriots rightfully (in my mind) moved on.
 

Marciano490

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Everyone discussing the magnitude of the risk seems to be assuming that the Pats players, coaches and executives had the same amount of information on AB we did. Unless his recent behavior is the result of CTE, poor reactions to recent adversities or a new drug habit, I can’t imagine his erratic and abusive behavior hadn’t manifested before and wasn’t widely known if not widely reported.
 

lambeau

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I think Bedard was right when he said AB thinks he's a God--because he's really disconnected from the way he's perceived and any consequences to his actions; he lives in a cocoon of athletic, financial, and sexual grandiosity that apparently can't be penetrated by a voice of reason like Rosenhaus. No thought of others.

It's so rare to encounter this degree of megalomania that I don't blame BB for taking the shot--no less reasonable than with long-shot Gordon. Lombardi, who knew Gordon in 2013, was on EEI today expressing astonishment at the personality growth and maturation he sees Gordon showing this year.

When you draft last, you take fliers.
 

DrewDawg

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Caveat emptor:

That seems obvious no? The "exempt" part of the exempt list says he doesn't count against a team's roster limit. If hes not on a roster, there's no point to it.
 

DrewDawg

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You don't think they structured it that way deliberately so they'd have an out if it became immediately apparent things weren't working out?
Yes. I 100% understand the Patriots did everything they could to minimize potential risk. I'm not quite sure any of us are really disagreeing.

I'm simply saying that there was a risk of the Pats spending a lot more on him before his flame out, if for example, it happened in 2 months. Therefore there was a chance of a larger outlay than what actually happened. We didn't *know* when he signed him that it would hopefully just be 1 game check.
 

Sox and Rocks

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Yes. I 100% understand the Patriots did everything they could to minimize potential risk. I'm not quite sure any of us are really disagreeing.

I'm simply saying that there was a risk of the Pats spending a lot more on him before his flame out, if for example, it happened in 2 months. Therefore there was a chance of a larger outlay than what actually happened. We didn't *know* when he signed him that it would hopefully just be 1 game check.
Which is why they should have structured the contract based entirely on incentives rather than a signing bonus.

Look, they might dodge the cap implications of the bonus anyway, but there'd be no doubt if the contract had been structured differently.

I don't blame BB for taking a chance, but the contract itself seemed and still seems overly risky.
 

dcmissle

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That seems obvious no? The "exempt" part of the exempt list says he doesn't count against a team's roster limit. If hes not on a roster, there's no point to it.
It’s the tenor. Go ahead, sign him. You’re at immediate risk of an Exempt List designation. Which means you pay him, he counts against your cap, but he does not practice or play.
 

dcmissle

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Which is why they should have structured the contract based entirely on incentives rather than a signing bonus.

Look, they might dodge the cap implications of the bonus anyway, but there'd be no doubt if the contract had been structured differently.

I don't blame BB for taking a chance, but the contract itself seemed and still seems overly risky.
I don’t “blame him” for taking the chance either. The payoff could have been enormous.

This “people are lathering to bash BB” business should stop. The biggest fucking Patriots fanboy on this planet — and it is not close — said publicly (a) he wouldn’t have signed him and (b) he didn’t think the Patriots would.
 

Van Everyman

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Here’s the thing about the people killing Belichick for his arrogance:

I think Belichick almost has to be arrogant at this point.

This is an organization that has had a serial killer in its employ. They’ve been accused of cheating multiple times. They’ve had multiple draft picks taken away. They’ve had their best player taken off the field. I honestly think Belichick must believe at this point that nothing can derail his teams other than injuries and luck.
 

Pandemonium67

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I don't think it's arrogance (though if he has any, it's well deserved) so much as BB has seen the league completely -- COMPLETELY -- shaft his team several times, and he's heard the media bash them hither and yon for decades, and at this point he has less than zero fucks to give.

AB is a great ball player and a hard worker, so BB took a chance on him. If that pisses people off, who cares? BB certainly don't.
 

The Racoon

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Here is how bad it is:

ESPN is reporting that yesterday’s social media attack was “pivotal” to today’s parting of the ways. Which makes sense.

AB was probably in the clear for the 2019 season. All he had to do was put the phone aside.

It’s probably is not stupidity. It is probably insanity.
I strongly think your (bolded) conclusion must be right...
Because let's not forget, that he did basicly the same when he was on the Raiders. Not being able to keep his phone in his pocket and his mouth shut for a couple more days has cost him his guaranteed money there (as well).
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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I still don’t see why they cut him. What I mean is, if they didn’t cut him when the allegations came out, then to me it means they were ok with presuming his innocence until proven wrong right? So now he texts something shitty, but not even in the same ballpark as what’s in the leaked emails, and that’s too much for the Patriots to handle?

The guy is nuts. CTE? And its becoming more and more obvious he’s a piece of shit towards women, and nearly everyone else. I guess I just don’t get why they were willing to look the other way when the allegations came out, and let him actually play, and now he’s mean via text to a painter, and that is what enrages the Patriots.

Unless it’s something where they said no more BS or your out, and then he went and did this.

ALso, it’s ridiculous that the media acts like the Patriots signed a known rapist, then played him while he was out assaulting women, when the incidents are from his Steeler days. Bash AB, and rightfully so, but the Patriots did nothing wrong here. Having AB on the team was no worse than teams having Hunt, Hill, etc. on their teams, and in reality light years less bothersome than that until the story leaked (assuming they really didn’t know).

A shame a guy that talented is that crazy, and that big of a piece of garbage.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Which is why they should have structured the contract based entirely on incentives rather than a signing bonus.

Look, they might dodge the cap implications of the bonus anyway, but there'd be no doubt if the contract had been structured differently.

I don't blame BB for taking a chance, but the contract itself seemed and still seems overly risky.
They didn’t have cap space to sign him other than by using a big signing bonus and spreading it over two years.

It’s doubtful AB would have taken an incentives only contract and it’s a certainty he wouldn’t have taken an NLTBE incentive contract, which is all the Patriots could offer.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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I still don’t see why they cut him. What I mean is, if they didn’t cut him when the allegations came out, then to me it means they were ok with presuming his innocence until proven wrong right? So now he texts something shitty, but not even in the same ballpark as what’s in the leaked emails, and that’s too much for the Patriots to handle?

The guy is nuts. CTE? And its becoming more and more obvious he’s a piece of shit towards women, and nearly everyone else. I guess I just don’t get why they were willing to look the other way when the allegations came out, and let him actually play, and now he’s mean via text to a painter, and that is what enrages the Patriots.

Unless it’s something where they said no more BS or your out, and then he went and did this.

ALso, it’s ridiculous that the media acts like the Patriots signed a known rapist, then played him while he was out assaulting women, when the incidents are from his Steeler days. Bash AB, and rightfully so, but the Patriots did nothing wrong here. Having AB on the team was no worse than teams having Hunt, Hill, etc. on their teams, and in reality light years less bothersome than that until the story leaked (assuming they really didn’t know).

A shame a guy that talented is that crazy, and that big of a piece of garbage.
Isn’t the bold a possible answer? Maybe they were really repulsed when the rape allegations came out but decided that it wasn’t quite enough to cut him, given that it was a civil case that perhaps could be defended, but when today’s news came out they looked at everything in a new light.

I posted here my personal view that today’s news made me more predisposed to believe that he is a rapist. Maybe the Patriots or Kraft see it like that or something like that that at least.

Or maybe they thought their recovery of the cap money was more defensible today than yesterday.

Or maybe someone from the league called and said “we’re about to exempt list him but you know if you want to take that possible fight with the NFLPA off our hands by cutting him you might as well, because he ain’t playing again this year if we have any say.”
 

Marciano490

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The moment AB signed here, he was the second most famous and recognizable Patriot. The Pats are a global brand; you can’t have a top ambassador going off like that. He looks crazed, misogynistic and potentially violent.

It’s not a good look and all this was for a guy who’d most likely only be on the team for one year. A year following a SB win, no less. There’s nothing he could do for this team this year that was worth tarnishing the brand short or long term.
 

BigSoxFan

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I really wonder if we’ll ever find out if TB12 was on board with this move. I’m sure he understands but he’s probably annoyed that he only got 1 game with AB.
 

Van Everyman

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Maybe they were really repulsed when the rape allegations came out but decided that it wasn’t quite enough to cut him, given that it was a civil case that perhaps could be defended, but when today’s news came out they looked at everything in a new light.

I posted here my personal view that today’s news made me more predisposed to believe that he is a rapist. Maybe the Patriots or Kraft see it like that or something like that that at least.

Or maybe they thought their recovery of the cap money was more defensible today than yesterday.

Or maybe someone from the league called and said “we’re about to exempt list him but you know if you want to take that possible fight with the NFLPA off our hands by cutting him you might as well, because he ain’t playing again this year if we have any say.”
The threatening text was the first action he took as a Patriot that could be construed as in violation of the terms of his contract, yes? If that’s so, I’d be more inclined to believe the bolded.
 

nighthob

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Technically speaking that's true, but the undefeated season has a huge asterisk since it was only 14 games. The winless season will be legit.
An even bigger asterisk due to the fact that the random scheduling in those days meant that the first team with a winning record the Dolphins faced was in the playoffs.
 

TFisNEXT

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I think treating women horribly is more his M.O than being addicted to his phone
There are plenty of NFL players who treat women horribly that still have the self-restraint to not go batshit crazy with texting and on social media. Especially when under extreme scrutiny. He is fairly unique on this aspect.

Again, somewhat morbidly fascinating to watch.
 

dcmissle

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I don't think it's arrogance (though if he has any, it's well deserved) so much as BB has seen the league completely -- COMPLETELY -- shaft his team several times, and he's heard the media bash them hither and yon for decades, and at this point he has less than zero fucks to give.

AB is a great ball player and a hard worker, so BB took a chance on him. If that pisses people off, who cares? BB certainly don't.
The great thing about the timing of this is that I get to tune out all NFL media until Sunday’s game against the Jets.

For all I know, BB took a glance at what is forming In Kansas City and concluded, “I need to add in this arm’s race.”

That is good enough for me. It would be a reasonable judgment despite the long odds against AB sticking around for long, and I’m certainly not bashing him for it. Simply pointing out the downsides now that we are where we are.

Said when we signed him that I would be satisfied with a 16 game regular season between AB and Gordon combined. That’s what I’m praying for, along with reasonable health for the team.
 

caesarbear

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Unless you can show it had an negative effect on the team I'm going to say you're being a bit hyperbolic.
The team no longer has DT when the receiving corp still has some big question marks.

The team was up against the cap and instead of holding on to the last chip for the possibility of a Williams or Gronk down the road, they gambled it on bad odds.

I'm not saying this board should put BB in the pillory, but why defend him from the media that are going to do that? They have every right to.
 

dcmissle

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The team no longer has DT when the receiving corp still has some big question marks.

The team was up against the cap and instead of holding on to the last chip for the possibility of a Williams or Gronk down the road, they gambled it on bad odds.

I'm not saying this board should put BB in the pillory, but why defend him from the media that are going to do that? They have every right to.
If the media are making sensible points along these lines, please link here.

From the little I have seen, the media are busy making Shaughnessy points.
 

cornwalls@6

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The moment AB signed here, he was the second most famous and recognizable Patriot. The Pats are a global brand; you can’t have a top ambassador going off like that. He looks crazed, misogynistic and potentially violent.

It’s not a good look and all this was for a guy who’d most likely only be on the team for one year. A year following a SB win, no less. There’s nothing he could do for this team this year that was worth tarnishing the brand short or long term.
Schefter and others have consistently reported that the Pats were caught off guard by the sexual assault civil suit. So at the time they signed him, it doesn't appear they were knowingly bringing in a potentially violent misogynist to represent the team. If your argument is that they should have cut bait as soon as the allegations became public, I tend to agree with you, but think it was at least arguable and defensible to not release him based on allegations in a civil suit, and before the both the legal process and/or the league investigation(I know) provided more certainty on his guilt. As far as their brand goes, I don't think this moves the needle much either way. They are already the most polarizing team in American sports. I think most people settled into whatever side they are on with regard to the Pats long ago.
 
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Jungleland

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I’m so relieved he’s gone, but purely from the standpoint that after the allegations came out I really don’t want to root for the guy. The text messages from yesterday only reinforce that there’s a very real chance he’s guilty of the things he’s accused of. I’m glad the bar for putting people in jail relies on a higher burden of proof, but I really don’t need it to be for whether I want a guy to be on the field.

As for the team, the only place here where I feel they deserve criticism at all is not cutting him right away, but like cornwall above me I understand why they didn’t. I still think that the “told you so” from the media and some fans is ridiculous. Short of violent crime this team could survive any level of circus, and while the Dolphins are the Dolphins there was plenty of indication last week that the on field results would have been worth it. With no reason to believe two weeks ago that the team had an indication that he might have done something heinous, bringing in a top 5 wr for reasonable money is a chance I’m fine with them taking 100 out of 100 times - even if said receiver shot his way off his last two teams and farts in his doctor’s face.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Caveat emptor:

Much as I loathe Goodell, I kind of like that move.
I still don’t see why they cut him. What I mean is, if they didn’t cut him when the allegations came out, then to me it means they were ok with presuming his innocence until proven wrong right? So now he texts something shitty, but not even in the same ballpark as what’s in the leaked emails, and that’s too much for the Patriots to handle?
The Pats, as an organization, seem very big on the "don't shit where you eat" philosophy. Meaning that they view things that happened before he joined the team and things that happened after very differently.

Also, it may be that his (admittedly less severe) action taken while on the team violated contract terms such that the Pats could take less of a financial hit by signing him, whereas anything he might have done prior to joining the team would not have.

Also, the past claims need to be investigated, which will take time. The recent threatening texts are a different situation - the texts alone are enough to justify cutting him with no futher investigation.

FInally, over at BSJ, Miguel notes that the Pats owed Brown a big bonus payment on this coming Monday (26th), which they will now most likely not pay. (Brown will file a grievance. Which he will ultimately lose if the assumption that his threatening texts violated his contract terms are true, but that will take some time to pay out). Miguel speculates that the Pats will take a ~$5 million dead money hit for Brown on this year's cap, but that they will get nearly all of it back on next year's cap. That could be wrong - not enough info is public to know for sure, but it seems reasonable. It would be different if the Pats do not have the ability to cut him based on violation of contract terms. Then they will be on the hook for $4.5 million in dead money next year instead of getting a nearly $5 million refund, so it would make a huge difference on net.

Edit: At the end of the day, I don't see anything really wrong with anything the Pats have done. Maybe they should not have dressed him against Miami. But I think signing him was a reasonable move, as was cutting him now.

Also, one has to wonder... CTE?
 

Devizier

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I think treating women horribly is more his M.O than being addicted to his phone
I won't "this" this post, but people have been missing the point, here. Thank *god* Brown is addicted (to use the phrase) to his phone because it provides documentation. The guy sounds like an abusive shithead.
 

lexrageorge

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One can certainly disagree with Belichick whether the risk on taking on Brown was worth it. I agree the risk was never zero. There was always a decent chance he would not work out, given the way he had shot his way out of two franchises already. The upside was obvious: he still possessed great talent at wide receiver. By all accounts, he worked hard the minute he landed in Foxboro; it was not for nothing he played 24 snaps despite limited practice time.

There was a downside that he could blow up in some fashion late in the season or just prior to the start of the playoffs, a potentially disastrous scenario. Fortunately, as downsides go, the timing was ideal. The one true downside, cost, could very well end up being a non-factor. And one consideration is that any player is one hit away from going on injured reserve at any time; so football people take risks all the time, and have learned to be comfortable with that risk, even to the point of that comfort being mistakenly called "hubris and arrogance".

That 2020 cap space becomes interesting. While the team cannot fit Trent Williams full salary under the cap now, some reporters have said they could always convert part of his $9M+ salary into guarantee and spread that out over this year and next. And the salary prorates for each week of the season; a Week 5 trade is not out of the question. IOW, he could slot nicely into that 2020 AB salary cap slot if the team gets relief. The bigger issue is the draft capital that would be needed to acquire a 31 year old lineman who has missed 13 games over the past 3 seasons.

The other costs cited: not so much a big deal. Thomas could very well be cooked. The PR hit will be a non-factor on the field, and will be mostly forgotten by Week 6. If the Pats make the Super Bowl, their signing of Brown will get a quick mention, but will be buried under a myriad of other, more compelling story lines which have yet to be written. If the Pats should fail to make the Super Bowl, some may point to the signing as a mistake, but there will be a lot of other stories to write as well.
 

Saints Rest

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Everyone discussing the magnitude of the risk seems to be assuming that the Pats players, coaches and executives had the same amount of information on AB we did. Unless his recent behavior is the result of CTE, poor reactions to recent adversities or a new drug habit, I can’t imagine his erratic and abusive behavior hadn’t manifested before and wasn’t widely known if not widely reported.
I still don’t see why they cut him. What I mean is, if they didn’t cut him when the allegations came out, then to me it means they were ok with presuming his innocence until proven wrong right? So now he texts something shitty, but not even in the same ballpark as what’s in the leaked emails, and that’s too much for the Patriots to handle?

The guy is nuts. CTE? And its becoming more and more obvious he’s a piece of shit towards women, and nearly everyone else. I guess I just don’t get why they were willing to look the other way when the allegations came out, and let him actually play, and now he’s mean via text to a painter, and that is what enrages the Patriots.

Unless it’s something where they said no more BS or your out, and then he went and did this.

ALso, it’s ridiculous that the media acts like the Patriots signed a known rapist, then played him while he was out assaulting women, when the incidents are from his Steeler days. Bash AB, and rightfully so, but the Patriots did nothing wrong here. Having AB on the team was no worse than teams having Hunt, Hill, etc. on their teams, and in reality light years less bothersome than that until the story leaked (assuming they really didn’t know).

A shame a guy that talented is that crazy, and that big of a piece of garbage.
A guy I play hoops with on Friday’s speculated that this erratic behavior goes back to a mega-hit on Brown by Vontaze Burfict a couple years ago, causing CTE to be driving all of this.