One of the weirdest opening weeks in recent memory is starting to wind down, and a full slate of regular season games is right around the corner. Before that though, we have one more batch of notes on Antonio Brown. The All-Pro receiver is a member of the Patriots now, and there will surely be more fallout to come as the dust settles. Brown was on the open market for just a few hours before inking a one-year deal with New England, and the defending champions now have one of the best group of skill position players in the league.
Here’s the latest on the star of the 2019 offseason:
- First off we have more details on his new contract, courtesy of Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. It was initially reported that Brown’s deal would be worth “up to” $15MM, and include a $9MM signing bonus. Per Schefter, there’s only $1MM in guaranteed money besides the signing bonus. The other $5MM is incentives, he reports.
- The Raiders ultimately didn’t suspend Brown over his confrontation with GM Mike Mayock, and the Patriots obviously won’t be suspending him. That doesn’t mean he is out of the woods entirely though, as Brown could apparently be suspended by the league office for a Personal Conduct Policy violation. A league spokesman declined to comment on the matter, per Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com, who notes the policy specifically prohibits “[v]iolent or threatening behavior toward another employee or a third party in any workplace.” If the league finds that Brown threatened Mayock as some have reported, he could be slapped with a suspension.
- The Patriots raised a lot of eyebrows by giving Brown a $9MM signing bonus given his recent erratic behavior. Teams can usually recoup 25 percent of a signing bonus if something goes wrong, per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (Twitter link). La Canfora wonders whether the Patriots asked for different language in the contract to protect them further in the event that things go off the rails like they did in Oakland.
- The Raiders voided Brown’s guarantees before releasing him, and there have been rumblings that Brown might pursue a grievance to try to recoup some of that money. Even if his agent Drew Rosenhaus does pursue the grievance and it is successful, he won’t be getting all that money back. Brown’s deal with Oakland contained offset language, so “the $9 million signing bonus he’ll get from the Patriots — and any other money he earns as a player in 2019 and 2020 — reduces the amount he could pursue in a potential grievance over his voided guarantees,” Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets. As such, it doesn’t seem like the grievance will be very high-stakes, if it gets filed at all.