Patriots release Antonio Brown after 1 game with club
"We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time," a Patriots representative said.
Brown was due a $5-million signing bonus on Monday. It's unclear whether the organization will attempt to either not pay or recoup the money, citing a clause in Brown's contract that could potentially void his guarantees.
Brown signed a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with the Patriots on Sept. 10. The next day, a lawsuit was filed against him in which Brown was accused of raping his former personal trainer.
Other troubling stories involving Brown have since surfaced. Late Thursday night, a woman told Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko that Brown was sending her "intimidating" texts. The outlet previously published a story in which she alleged Brown made an unwanted sexual advance toward her in 2017 while contracted to paint a mural in his home.
At his Friday morning news conference, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said "there are some things we're looking into" regarding Brown, but stopped short of providing any details. He later walked out of the room as reporters peppered him with questions about the wideout.
Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in his Patriots debut versus the Miami Dolphins in Week 2. He spent the offseason as a member of the Oakland Raiders, but was released days prior to the season opener following endless - albeit, less malicious - drama off the field.
In the first nine seasons of his career, Brown carved out a Hall of Fame-worthy resume with the Pittsburgh Steelers, leading the NFL in receiving twice and going to seven Pro Bowls. He led the league in touchdown receptions a year ago with 15.