Five days after Antonio Brown played his first game with the New England Patriots it appears he officially has played his last. The Patriots cut ties with the embattled wideout on Friday, days before their Week 3 home game against the New York Jets and hours after a story by Sports Illustrated showed Brown sending intimidating text messages to a woman who accused him of sexual harassment.
The Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick refused to address the latest allegations against Brown when he spoke to the media on Friday. Hours later, Brown shared a message on Twitter that seemed to indicate he was moving on from the Patriots, his third team in a calendar year.
Shortly after that, Brown’s release was reported by Ian Rapaport.
The #Patriots have released WR Antonio Brown, as he indicated on Twitter. They have moved on.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 20, 2019
The Patriots then released a statement, which was reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Patriots’ statement: “The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. 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.”
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 20, 2019
Brown’s tenure with the Patriots lasted just 11 days. He was signed by the team hours after he was released by the Oakland Raiders, who traded for him this offseason then saw his tenure with the team marred by bizarre injuries, a helmet conflict and an argument with general manager Mike Mayock. The allegations of his alleged sexual assault did not widely surface until he was already signed by the Patriots, and the team refused to acknowledge them, including seven questions from reporters to Belichick on Friday, causing him to walk out of his press conference early.
Bill Belichick tells reporters that he's not going to answer any questions about Antonio Brown….reporters proceed to grill him about him about Antonio Brown for two minutes….Belichick gets fed up and abruptly ends press conference pic.twitter.com/HG5mhNhARG
— gifdsports (@gifdsports) September 20, 2019
It’s unclear if another NFL team will sign Brown given the offseason he’s had and the allegations made against him. There are 29 other teams, in theory, that have not found he’s not worth the trouble just yet.