Josh Brown has potential claim against Giants, if he chooses to pursue it

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Indefinite paid suspensions are a bad idea in the NFL, in part because in plenty of cases the teams will decide to convert those indefinite paid suspensions into permanent unpaid suspensions.

That’s precisely what the Giants have done to kicker Josh Brown. Faced with the prospect of paying him $72,058 per week until the NFL’s reopened investigation of Brown becomes a final, appealed suspension, the Giants have severed ties with Brown.

Sure, there’s a chance that the move was aimed at giving the team a sliver of moral high ground after nearly a weekly of gutter-level optics. Regardless of the specific reason(s) for the move, Brown has now been cut — which means that his NFL cash pipeline has been cut off, likely for good. No one will sign him until the outcome of the NFL’s reopened investigation is known, at the earliest. Even then, there’s a strong chance Brown eventually will become the new Ray Rice: Free and clear to play in the NFL, but shunned by all 32 teams.

Against that background, Brown must decide whether to pursue the balance of his 2016 salary from the Giants. While he’s a vested veteran, which ordinarily would give him the right to receive the rest of his 2016 salary as termination pay, he wasn’t on the 53-man roster as of Week One, due to his suspension.

With 10 weeks left in the season, the Giants owed Brown another $720,480 before cutting him. Brown can file a grievance, like Rice did, arguing that he already has been punished by the NFL for the May 2015 incident of domestic violence, that the league already has commenced the process of disciplining him for any other incidents of domestic violence (blocking the Giants from taking action), and that the Giants already knew or should have known about any and all of his alleged indiscretions before signing him to a two-year, $4 million deal earlier this year.

There’s a chance the Giants wouldn’t fight it, or that they’d do so half-heartedly, honoring their commitment to Brown but making the roster move in order to restore some sense of honor to an organization that typically exudes a sense that it peers down its nose at the team with which it shares stadium, along with the rest of the league.

Either way, Brown has rights. The league may eventually violate those rights. By cutting Brown for reasons clearly unrelated to his football abilities or to any new evidence of misconduct that wasn’t already available to the team, the Giants arguably already have.

15 responses to “Josh Brown has potential claim against Giants, if he chooses to pursue it

  1. Giants knew what he was before they signed him, they have no excuse. While paying him the remainder is distasteful, it may be the only way they learn.

  2. The NFLPA needs to substantially up its game with the next CBA. The fact that the league can suspend a guy for week one and negate his salary guarantee by doing so makes that suspension a much, much bigger deal as we are now seeing with Brown. The bigger issue is how much of a cesspool the NFL has become under Goodell with his ego. By trying to be judge, jury and executioner he’s not doing any of them very well.

  3. The clear lesson here is to not re-sign a player to a new contract unless you are absolutely sure you can maintain the lie about his domestic violence incidents.

  4. Time for fully guaranteed and fully paid at signing contracts. 5 year $50MM contract? Write a check for $50MM at signing. That way, the player will perform up to standards because of the responsibility placed upon him, and, no further checks until the end of the contract.
    I am certain that will work because that is basically what my 14 year old kids counselor told me to do with him when he was in trouble with the law.
    Oh, and I am certain they will manage their money well, also.

  5. Usually when a team offers a contract to a player with behavioral issues (substance abuse, PEDs, domestic violence, etc), that contract will contain language that allows the team to recoup signing bonus and any other guaranteed money, and will null and void the new contract if there’s a repeat of said behavior.

    I can only guess that the Giants didn’t offer a contract with the above language because they probably didn’t believe Brown’s wife. But even if they didn’t believe her, the new contract, IMO, should’ve provided an easy exit from the contract, leaving no margin for error.

  6. dmartin17 says:
    Oct 25, 2016 4:00 PM

    Why does the NFL keep lying??

    Because people keep believing them.

  7. Er, if it’s a 50 million contract and they write a check for 50 million at signing? There are no more checks to be written. That idea would gives the player incentive ? Again, er no

  8. Hoping he doesn’t appeal unless it is to set up trust for kids/ex-wife or better yet, donates funds to abused women’s health care foundation. The Giants should then match that, as well. There is no reason either should benefit from his release, in any manner.

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