Timeline: Antonio Brown's Journey to, From the New England Patriots - NBC10 Boston
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Timeline: Antonio Brown's Journey to, From the New England Patriots

"Thank you for the opportunity @Patriots #GoWinIt," Brown tweeted after being released Friday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Patriots Release Wide Receiver Antonio Brown

    The New England Patriots said Friday that they were releasing Antonio Brown — they felt "it is best to move in a different direction." Brown responded with a thank you. (Published Friday, Sept. 20, 2019)

    Antonio Brown didn't play a single NFL game with the Oakland Raiders, but his tenure with the New England Patriots was technically even shorter.

    The four-time All-Pro wide receiver has plenty of talent, but his off-the-field issues led to loads of drama all year.

    Take a look at the strange journey that led to Brown's release just days after catching a touchdown from Tom Brady.

    Bill Belichick Ends Pats Press Conference After 7 Antonio Brown QuestionsBill Belichick Ends Pats Press Conference After 7 Antonio Brown Questions

    The Friday Patriots press conference ended abruptly when Patriots coach Bill Belichick walked out after seven straight Antonio Brown-related questions.

    (Published Friday, Sept. 20, 2019)

    MARCH: PITTSBURGH STEELERS TRADE ANTONIO BROWN TO OAKLAND RAIDERS

    Brown forced his way out of Pittsburgh after multiple rifts with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin. This prompted the Steelers to trade Brown to the Raiders for a third-round pick and fifth-round pick. The Raiders quickly signed Brown to a three-year contract extension worth $50 million and $30 million guaranteed.

    JULY/AUGUST: FROSTBITE

    In one of the more bizarre injury stories you'll ever see, Brown suffered frostbite on the bottom of his feet after an incident in a cryotherapy chamber. This forced him to miss time at the start of training camp, not the best start at a new team.

    AUGUST: HELMET PREFERENCES RUN AMOK

    The NFL implemented a new policy ahead of the 2019 season that banned older helmets worn by players like Brown, Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Brown objected to this policy intensely, threatening to retire and filing multiple grievances against the league. He eventually picked out an approved helmet, but the practices he missed during this fiasco resulted in fines from the Raiders.

    SEPT. 4: BROWN POSTS LETTER FROM MIKE MAYOCK ON INSTAGRAM

    When Brown received the fines from the Raiders, he posted the letter he received from general manager Mike Mayock, claiming the Raiders didn't have his back. The wideout then confronted Mayock at practice in a screaming match. It was presumed Brown would be suspended for the altercation.

    SEPT. 5: RAIDERS DISCUSS SUSPENDING BROWN

    The Raiders' plan to suspend Brown would have been a problem for his wallet. If the Raiders decided to suspend him for "conduct detrimental to the team," they would have been able to void the $30 million guaranteed on his contract. If Brown wasn't guaranteed a cent for this season, there wouldn't be a point in him staying in Oakland.

    SEPT. 6: BROWN'S APOLOGY

    In the face of a suspension and potentially losing $30 million, Brown issued an emotional apology in front of his Raiders teammates. Afterward, head coach Jon Gruden said Brown would play for the Raiders in Week 1 on Monday Night Football.

    THAT SAME NIGHT: RECORDED PHONE CALL

    After seemingly winning over his team and coach, Brown posted a recorded phone call he had with Gruden. It revealed their conversation and seemed to be a departure from the developments earlier in the day.

    MORNING OF SEPT. 7: BROWN FINED, ASKS FOR RELEASE

    The Raiders delivered a fine of over $200K to Brown, which would result in his $30 million guarantee getting voided altogether. In response to this, Brown asked for his release on Instagram. The Raiders had until 4 p.m. on Saturday to release him before his salary became guaranteed for the 2019 season.

    NOON ON SEPT. 7: RAIDERS RELEASE BROWN

    Oakland didn't waste much time. Now that they owed Brown nothing financially, they cut ties and released him just hours after the request. The Patriots were the early betting favorites to land him.

    AFTERNOON OF SEPT. 7: BROWN SIGNS WITH THE PATRIOTS

    Not too long after his release, Brown agreed to a one-year, $15 million contract with $9 million guaranteed. He was not eligible to play against the Steelers in Week 1, but he was poised to take the field against the Miami Dolphins the following Sunday.

    SEPT. 10: BROWN ACCUSED OF RAPE IN LAWSUIT

    Britney Taylor, a former trainer of Brown's, accused the athlete of raping her in a federal lawsuit filed in Florida. Brown allegedly exposed himself to Taylor and kissed her without her consent in 2017, then ejaculated on her back weeks later and bragged about it in text messages. In May of 2018, he allegedly raped her. The lawsuit said Taylor "protested and cried the entire time."

    Brown's lawyer denied the allegations. The Patriots said that they took the allegations seriously and that the league was investigating.

    SEPT. 11: BROWN PRACTICES WITH THE PATRIOTS

    Patriots head coach Bill Belichick became contentious when repeatedly questioned about the allegations against Brown, but he confirmed he would be practicing with the team.

    Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said the allegations against his client were "false."

    SEPT. 13: BROWN VISITS BRADY'S TB12 CENTER

    Brown broke his social media silence, not commenting on the allegations against him but going live on Instagram from the TB12 Sports Therapy Center, appearing with Brady's trainer, Alex Guerrero.

    SEPT. 15: BROWN MAKES PATRIOTS DEBUT

    Brown suited up for what would be his first and last game with the Patriots, contributing to a 43-0 thwomping by making 4 catches for 56 yards and a touchdown.

    SEPT. 16: NEW ALLEGATIONS SURFACE

    On the same day Brady posted a photo of himself with Brown to Instagram, writing, "Just getting started," a Sports Illustrated report detailed an alleged pattern of repeated abusive behavior by Brown. He allegedly exposed himself to a woman who was painting a mural of the athlete at his home in the Pittsburgh area.

    Brown's attorney denied these allegations, as well.

    SEPT. 19: NIKE DROPS BROWN

    Brown had already lost the endorsement of helmet manufacturer Xenith but he lost a high-profile deal in Nike Thursday following Taylor's lawsuit and the Sports Illustrated report.

    Brown also made his first public comments since joining the Patriots, saying he was grateful to be in New England without touching on his legal issues.

    Antonio Brown Addresses Media for First Time as a PatriotAntonio Brown Addresses Media for First Time as a Patriot

    Wide receiver Antonio Brown spoke briefly Thursday, giving his first public comments as a member of the Patriots.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019)

    NIGHT OF SEPT. 19: 'INTIMIDATING' TEXTS

    Late Thursday night, Sports Illustrated reported that Brown was accused of sending "intimidating" text messages to his second accuser after she spoke with Sports Illustrated.

    According to images of group texts, Brown allegedly referred to the accuser as a "super broke girl," showing an Instagram photo showing pictures of her young children. He asked someone he called "Eric B" to "look up her background history."

    The woman's attorney said the accuser was "understandably frightened by these text messages, which are clearly intended to threaten and intimidate her."

    Brown's attorney declined to comment on the substance of the messages to Sports Illustrated.

    SEPT. 20: END OF THE ANTONIO BROWN ERA IN NEW ENGLAND

    By Friday, the Patriots had had enough, cutting the talented but controversial wide receiver.

    "The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the team said in a statement. 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."

    "Thank you for the opportunity @Patriots #GoWinIt," Brown tweeted.


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