Antonio Brown was released by the Patriots Friday, following rape and sexual misconduct accusations by multiple women, including a former trainer.
“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.”
Before the Patriots announced the move, Brown indicated his time in New England was over via multiple social media posts.
Brown was signed by the team Sept. 9. He played one game for New England, with four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown last Sunday in a win against Miami.
Today Brown tweeted at the Patriots, acknowledging his release by saying “Thanks for the opportunity.” He included photos from his one game with the team. He also posted a photo with Tom Brady on Instagram, “Love ya champ. That was fun!”
— AB (@AB84) September 20, 2019
Bill Belichick, the Patriots head coach, shut down a press conference Friday morning because he was sick of answering questions about Brown’s accusations of sexual misconduct. The Patriots signed Brown on Sept. 7th — hours after he was cut by the Oakland Raiders following multiple issues with Raiders executives.
Brown signed his 1-year, $15 million contract with the Pats Sept. 9, which included a $9 million signing bonus.
Days after Brown signed his deal with the Pats, Brown’s former trainer Britney Taylor filed a lawsuit against AB accusing him of forcible rape in 2018, along with 2 allegations of sexual assault in 2017.
Brown has denied all wrongdoing and vowed to explore his own legal options. Brown was not arrested or charged with a crime in that case. Taylor never went to police. Earlier this week, Sports Illustrated published a report containing allegations from a second woman who accused Brown of sexual misconduct.
In a follow-up story, SI reported that Brown later sent that woman menacing text messages in which Brown directs associates to look into the accuser’s family. He also sent a pic of the accuser’s children.
The NFL was contacted by the woman’s attorney and immediately launched an investigation.
Despite the investigation, Belichick suggested the team was planning on using Brown on Sunday when they take on the NY Jets. Representatives for Brown and the Patriots did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.