It seems that Antonio Brown‘s pseudo-commerical – featuring sound bites of a phone conversation with Jon Gruden – was part of his social media campaign to push the Raiders for his release. It was speculated that Brown recorded Gruden without his consent, which would open the wide receiver up to legal consequences and NFL discipline.
Apparently, that’s not the case. The producer of the video tells ESPN’s Dan LeBatard that Gruden approved the use of their conversation (Twitter link).
This would help to explain why Gruden reportedly thought the video was “awesome,” though Brown was released hours after its release. Apparently, this was not the straw that broke the camel’s back, probably because there were many other straws that infuriated the Raiders far more.
Brown, the newest member of the Patriots (somehow), has himself a one-year deal worth up to $15MM, plus a 2020 club option that could be worth $20MM. Here’s the Year One breakdown, per Rapoport (Twitter link): $9MM signing bonus ($5MM paid now, $4MM later), $1MM base pay, $500K in46-man roster bonuses, and “Not Likely To Be Earned” incentives of $1.5MM for each of the following: 105 catches, 1,298 yards, 16 TDs.
Given Brown’s ability and past production, those benchmarks are far from “not likely.” However, for cap purposes, they are designated as NLTBEs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.