Suspicions grow that Antonio Brown to the Patriots didn’t happen out of the blue on Saturday

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The Steelers were determined not to trade receiver Antonio Brown to the Patriots or to any other team in the AFC North. And now, of course, Antonio Brown plays for the Patriots.

Both Adam Schefter of ESPN and Mike Giardi of NFL Network report that the Patriots did indeed try to trade for Brown in March, but the Steelers resisted their overtures. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the Patriots actually offered a first-round pick for Brown.

While the only good news is that the Steelers won’t have to face Brown tonight in New England, the Patriots get a major boost. And they get Brown without giving up trade compensation, without paying Brown $30 million in guaranteed money, and with a potential compensatory draft pick in 2021, if Brown leaves in free agency after this season.

That guaranteed money Brown has lost in Oakland becomes the strongest argument against the notion that the trade to Oakland and inevitable release by the Raiders was part of a broader plan to get Brown to New England. Brown will get a $9 million signing bonus, a base salary close to the minimum for his level of service, and incentives worth another $5 million or so. That’s a far cry from $30 million.

But while it may not have been planned from the get-go, once the proverbial Rubicon was crossed in Oakland (as a league source told PFT, the fine letter from G.M. Mike Mayock was the tipping point), it’s fair to wonder whether things were said behind the scenes regarding hypothetical interest in a hypothetical acquisition of a hypothetical player who may be available, hypothetically. The fact that the deal came together so quickly fuels that speculation — especially given the financial commitment made by the Patriots.

Remember when everyone believed running back LeGarrette Blount misbehaved his way out of Pittsburgh, knowing that the Patriots would welcome him back? Remember when Blount was pressed on that subject and didn’t deny it? Those same suspicions are wafting now, and even though Brown won’t be on the field or on the sidelines tonight in New England, it gives an added flavor to one of the best rivalries in football.

193 responses to “Suspicions grow that Antonio Brown to the Patriots didn’t happen out of the blue on Saturday

  1. LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.

  2. Shady things always coming from Foxboro. First with Gordon. I thought suspensions got longer as the player continued to get suspended (or at least that’s what happened with Gordon in Cleveland) and he’s playing this year. Now Brown signing with the pats almost to the hour he was able to sign with the team. Then the usualy sweep it under the rug treatment with the Patriots and multiple cheating infractions dating back to Goodells first year as commish. It’s not hating on the patriots, this is the reality of the Patriot organization and the NFL.

  3. He was a free agent and any team could have signed him. They got a deal done in 6 hours. Any good agent would have the parameters of a deal outlined the only thing to negotiate was the guarantee. He got the same money he had in Oakland, $15.9 for the first year there and $15 million in NE for 15 games

  4. Leader of the circus right there. Looks like the racist remark has already been swept under the bus. If this were the other way around, the racial remark would be front and center, Mayock would be out of a job, and Jesse Jackson would be in Oakland holding a rally right now. This is 2019 America folks.

  5. Hopefully this will be the stone that catches the Patriots in their dirty ass ways I hope they get what’s coming to I really do have been cheating for years and getting away with it the NFL just lets him get away with it cuz there’s a Patriots well I hope this is the stone that broke the camel’s back and like I said I hope Brown gets what’s coming to him to I hope they 0-16

  6. It’s not a conspiracy when it is 100% true. It is just difficult to prove, which is why the patriots did it. They (and really any team wanting to get an edge), will do anything to stay ahead of the competition. The patriots didn’t win 6 super bowls because they were vastly superior to other teams when it comes to evaluating players in the draft or fa, they are just simply the best at acquiring what they need to fill in the shortfalls.

  7. I have no doubt that Drew Rosenhaus reached out to see if New England might have interest if things didn’t work out in Oakland. Once he received positive inquiries .. AB blew it up. What is pathetic is how Jon Gruden kissed Antonio Brown’s butt just to so he would show up. Even AB thought it was pathetic, hence he was secretly recording him.

  8. Yes, a giant conspiracy to take half the money in exchange for enduring the onslaught of conspiracy theory journalists pounding their heads for this morning’s copy.

  9. Other New England area teams cheat a lot as well. The Boston Red Sox have had a couple of major cheating scandals the past few years as well. Guess they picked a few thing up from Foxborough.

  10. So the Pats had interest in him when he was being shopped. The Steelers refused to consider any negotiation from them.

    He becomes available and the Pats jump on it.

    Since its the Pats there must be something nefarious going on, right? Get a grip.

  11. The Patriot way. This is going to be a distraction for the Pats all year. A lot of NFL fans are screaming for blood.

  12. Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports that the Patriots actually offered a first-round pick for Brown.

    ——————————————-

    If this were true then why didn’t the Patriots offer the Raiders the same offer of a first round pick for AB right after they acquired him from Pittsburgh? The Raiders would have jumped at the opportunity to turn a 3rd and 5th into a 1st. Giving the Raiders three more 1st round picks in the 2020 draft.

  13. If the Pats offered a first round pick in March and Rosenhaus knew it, then they didn’t need to say a single word for AB to know that there was an opportunity in New England.

  14. Indisputable axiom of the NFL: If the Pats were involved there was some level of cheating involved— the Patriot way…

  15. I wonder what it’s like for the other 31, knowing your season is over before it even kicked off. Nah, just kiddin’….:)

  16. “Best rivalry “??? Tom Brady is 7-2 against the Tomlin coached Steelers, that’s not much of a rival to me!
    Can’t wait to see banner # SIX go up, no other team has won SIX Super Bowls with only ONE QB.

  17. Yes, an absolute conspiracy that Brown was in on. He and his agent, along with the Patriots hatched a plan to sign for half the money.

    His agent is brilliant, once things started blowing up in Oakland, Rosenhaus programmed the Patriots number in his phone.

  18. If multiple teams had offers why is it a scandal the Patriots had one too? The only thing to negotiate was the guarantee any good agent would have the parameters of a contract ready.

  19. I am no AB fan but I love how he stuck it to the Steelers. Under Tomlin he had 1 of the Best QB’s Big Ben, Best RB Bell and Receiver Brown and did nothing. I wish AB takes NE to 7 SB’s in 20 year what it took the Steelers 55 to achieve.

  20. We all see what’s in the future… Brown has a great year in New England and then becomes a free agent and the top paid receiver in football. He sure knows how to play it out.

  21. So Brady is so cool by allowing the Pats to structure his deals so they have cap room to make the team better, right? Doesn’t this mean they spend to the cap or very close to it? How do they have $15MM sitting there?

  22. So let’s see if I have this right… People think that Brown purposely walked away from $50m ($30m guaranteed) because he preferred to only make $15m ($9m guaranteed). Some people are so jealous of the Patriots that they’ll make up the most ridiculous nonsense… Just like Trippin’ Tomlin claiming the Pats have a secret weather machine.

  23. As you mention, part of this conspiracy would involve Brown taking a lot less money, at least in the short term. That’s one aspect makes this less plausible. Brown’s behavior has been erratic for a while, but would be leave millions on the table to get on a better team?

    The Jets tampered with Parcells and Curtis Martin. That’s how BB ended up their with the NYJ in the first place. The Patriots tampered with BB to get him back in NE. The teams basically traded first round picks back and forth. This stuff does go on, as some mentioned will likely be hard to prove.

  24. The NFL is slowly turning into the WWE. Oversized egos, scripted drama, and men acting like cartoon characters for the sake of attention. Pathetic!

  25. The freaking Colts could have offered AB $50 million to play for them this season because they have a ridiculous amount of cap space but they didn’t (idiots). Rosenhaus has a job to maximize the $$$ for his clients and behold this time it was the Pats. Enough with these jealous petty conspiracies.

  26. No conspiracy required. Everyone knows that Pats go to the SB on average every other year and that they need wide receiver help. So any player wanting to get to a SB may do whatever they think it takes to get there.

    But Blount had to go through waivers and every team had a shot at him, and other teams could have made Brown an offer he couldn’t refuse financially. But with his rep / rap being what it was, teams were hesitant while Belichick was ready to pounce.

  27. So you’re saying that AB orchestrated his departure from the Raiders in order to join the one team that the Steelers wouldn’t trade him to, thereby creating a tampering but not really situation in which the Patriots cheated and got away with it, again?

    I’m shocked, I tell you, shocked! Well not that shocked.
    #tampering

  28. Only the fan word saw this yet Godel continues to sit on his fingers oh that’s right NE may be involved hands off.

  29. Not cheating, losers say that. It’s staying a step or 15 steps ahead of the competition. Patriots were down their number 1 draft pick at receiver so if the opportunity arises you have to go for it. That’s what they do. Can’t fault them at all for that. And if Brown behaves he’ll get the opportunity to go to the Super Bowl and another rich payday next year. Crazy, like a fox!

  30. No doubt the Patriots knew he might get cut and had an offer prepared if he did. Maybe they had already told AB’s agent what that offer was, maybe not. Any other team could have offered multiple years and a larger guarantee and he might have taken it. But, also, I think most any coach – without the job security of a Belichick – wanted nothing to do with a guy who could lead to them getting fired for acting like he has acted for two separate teams over the last nine months.
    Ultimately, I wouldn’t be surprised if AB saw where he landed, hated it, and concocted a plan to get himself out of there.

  31. So were Gruden and the Raiders in on it, too? They could have simply waited out the situation, send the 5 day letter as AB would have inevitably stayed away, and then park him on the suspended/NFI list so they wouldn’t be on the hook for the money AND prevent him from playing for anyone. But I guess they couldn’t resist Belichick’s Jedi mind trick…

  32. Is there any question?

    Just listen and read ABs rants online. He keeps talking about wanting “control” of his career. He hated the fact that Pittsburgh got to decide where he went. So he stamps his feet and yell and screams in Oakland so they release him. Now he finally can sign with the team he wanted to go all along. No doubt they had talked about it before. He really is a sick and twisted individual.

    I feel really bad for the Oakland fans. And think it’s ridiculous that the Patriots would encourage this kind of thing. Makes me hate football a little more.

  33. Two things:

    Max compensatory pick for a player who leaves after only one year is a 7th rounder.

    A player who is released from a team for bad conduct after being acquired faces a minimum of 8 games before he can play for another team. That time is unpaid.

    That should go a long toward eliminating intentional bad conduct to force a release.

  34. I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to have a secret that could get me banned from football I’d want to make sure I include a guy with the emotional stability of a 4 year old as part of the team keeping it quiet.

  35. It’s tampering by New England. They were likely tampering as early as last year in Brown’s last year in Pittsburgh. And just ramped it up this year.

  36. Looks like the NBA to me and this is just the beginning. Jerry and Steve are scratching their heads and saying, “how did they do that”?

  37. From the moment that the Raiders trade for Brown was rumored to when it was announced I could clearly see that this had all of the earmarks of being another Randy Moss disaster for the Raiders.

    The Raiders were a bad team in 2005 with a horrible HC (“Norv” Turner) and they’re a bad team in 2019 with a horrible HC (Jon Gruden) and such a team is not equipped to manage a talented cancer like Brown. I don’t especially like the Pats but I’m a huge admirer of Bill Belichick as one of the best HC’s in NFL history and it’s obvious that part of Belichick’s M.O. is to prey on teams that make stupid decisions.

    This is completely on Gruden. Gruden was the only HC stupid enough to trade with the Steelers for Brown because he didn’t have enough common sense to look back on what happened to the Raiders in 2005 with Moss. Or worse, Gruden’s ego was such that he thought he was a good enough HC that he could “handle” a Moss-like player like only Belichick can.

  38. ARod(in his collarbone) says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:54 am
    Leader of the circus right there. Looks like the racist remark has already been swept under the bus. If this were the other way around, the racial remark would be front and center, Mayock would be out of a job, and Jesse Jackson would be in Oakland holding a rally right now. This is 2019 America folks.

    —————————————————————-

    This is 100% Accurate!

  39. Leman Russ says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:00 am
    Other New England area teams cheat a lot as well. The Boston Red Sox have had a couple of major cheating scandals the past few years as well. Guess they picked a few thing up from Foxborough

    ——————————————————————————————
    You are thinking of the Cardinals. They got caught hacking into the Astros scouting database in 2017, paid 2 Million in fines and lost 2 draft picks. (Oddly, no one cared). The Astros, ironically were then rumored to be cheating in last year’s playoffs when they had someone lurking outside the Red Sox dugout. That created a minor flap for a couple days but nothing happened.

  40. “I have no doubt that Drew Rosenhaus reached out to see if New England might have interest if things didn’t work out in Oakland. Once he received positive inquiries .. AB blew it up. ”

    Maybe you should have a little doubt. That would be flagrant tampering on NEs part.

    You can argue that AB deliberately acted up because he wanted to go to NE, but for the Patriots to be in contact with his agent before it happened…, I’m sorry, BB isn’t that stupid. AB was going to come knocking on their door anyway.

    Belichick doesn’t want another scandal, he wants another Super Bowl.

  41. Remember when the world knew that Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Arod were cheating their sport because of steroids. Everyone knew it but could not prove it. Everyone knows that the Patriots cheat in any way possible whether it is filming other teams practices, deflating balls, getting “massages at massage Parlors” and most likley wink wink deals under the table outside the norm. One day someone will write a tell all book and spill the beans about the “Patriot way”. Then their true legacy can and will be determined.

  42. It’s not a conspiracy when it is 100% true. It is just difficult to prove, which is why the patriots did it. They (and really any team wanting to get an edge), will do anything to stay ahead of the competition. The patriots didn’t win 6 super bowls because they were vastly superior to other teams when it comes to evaluating players in the draft or fa, they are just simply the best at acquiring what they need to fill in the shortfalls

    ——————————————————————————

    And the best coaching in the league which gets the most out of each and every player. Other teams cannot match it!!!

  43. burtmustin says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:50 am
    LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.

    ————————

    Don’t come here armed with the facts – the fans of the other 31 so desperately need to believe that the Patriots are evil and only win because they cheat. When you make sensible arguments such as this, you are essentially pulling the rug out from under them and forcing them to come to grips with the fact that yes, the Patriots ARE just that much better than their team.

  44. This isn’t even close to cheating. These people are hilarious. Brown just gave up 30 million dollars of guaranteed money to accept less to play for the Patriots. If he acts up in New England, he’ll end up earning even less. Fans won’t admit that Belichick just outsmarted and played the rest of the league. He is the ultimate puppet master. Dance puppets.

  45. We must either believe that A: Contracts in the NFL really Don’t take all that long and you can have a star-caliber player agree to terms in a matter of HOURS — not days, not weeks, not months, but merely a few short hours, OR, B: Something stinks here. And the words Patriots and cheating appear in a lot of those fancy Word Cloud things.

  46. If you want Brown and you are watching the situation in Oakland, how hard is it to assemble a contract structure so when the release happens, you are prepared to act.

    Its called preparation.

    Further, it was probably the agents JOB to make a few calls when rumors surfaced of his release.

    If an agent makes such a call, is that tampering?

    Brown was under contract and in control – the agent is just contingent planning. And teh whole scenario requires the Oakland release.

  47. Yes, let’s punish NE for not having a horrendous culture with no structure and an enabling coach like Tomlin or Gruden.

    Another example of pitiful or underachieving franchises trying to miscast blame to NE.

    There is no secret Rosenhaus and BB work well together but once Oakland took away his guarantees, it forced the release from Brown’s point of view.

    Everyone knew if NE was still willing, it was the only team.

    It may not even work out.

  48. “This isn’t even close to cheating. These people are hilarious. Brown just gave up 30 million dollars of guaranteed money to accept less to play for the Patriots. If he acts up in New England, he’ll end up earning even less. Fans won’t admit that Belichick just outsmarted and played the rest of the league. He is the ultimate puppet master. Dance puppets.”

    It is absolutely hilarious the stuff these people conjure up in their heads. Fascinating to watch.

    Yesterday morning all these same people had written this guy off. Terrible for any locker room etc.

    Cognitive dissonance at astronomical levels.

  49. Blount? Harrison?

    I have no idea why people are still surprised when the Patriots get away with underhanded tampering and shifty collusion. The NFL lets it happen…and the fans role over and take it! Until we vote with our feet and stop watching…it will continue.

  50. I think what the AB deal shows is that some people don’t really care what it takes to win,,,,,any cost justifies winning….cheating….lying. They also call people complaining about this cry babies but were the shoes on the other foot would be complaining loudly…..Deflategate ring a bell. So I think the character of the Pats and their fans has been clearly define again and its not the success that people hate is the slimy way thy go about their business. Some people have morals and ethics ….and some don’t but its a hell of a way to ruin a once good sport.

  51. The drama, the drama The NFL has become Americas new number 2 Reality TV show (Trump still barely hangs on to the number 1 spot)

  52. floridapackfan says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:34 am
    Remember when the world knew that Lance Armstrong, Roger Clemens, Mark McGuire, Sammy Sosa, and Arod were cheating their sport because of steroids. Everyone knew it but could not prove it. Everyone knows that the Patriots cheat in any way possible whether it is filming other teams practices, deflating balls, getting “massages at massage Parlors” and most likley wink wink deals under the table outside the norm. One day someone will write a tell all book and spill the beans about the “Patriot way”. Then their true legacy can and will be determined.

    ——————

    You have it backwards. When BB and Brady retire, they will share info they were told to never mention, and showcasing why all of this started when Goodell took over and not before under Tagliabue.

    A handful of powerful NFL teams have been caught colluding and ganging up on NE for years, to the point NE literally calls into NY to ask if they will be cheated if they attempt to do something that could be framed as cheating.

    This is a fact..Prior to the creative formation packages vs Baltimore in the 2014 divisionals, BB called in to ask if they saw it as legal. Of course it was but they did not trust Goodell. They got written confirmation and moved on.

    Whinebaugh was embarrassed by it and Framegate II was born a week later and allowed to be a thing by Goodell himself in fear of losing his job, so he is the cheater, not NE.

  53. On the other hand…this whole thing may have been planned since last season with collusion between the Raiders and Patriots and the whole thing is playing fans like a fiddle.

  54. That dude burned his feet(risked other sever damage) and made himself look like an crazy fool, in order to get to New England. He also protested the helmet, in order to get endorsements. Yeah… right.

    Everyone wants to believe that AB is crazy like a fox. But the reality is, he is just crazy.

  55. Absolutely cheating. No way the Pats had a plan writhing offer in mind and called after AB release. It takes a minimum of 157 hours to sign a player. Did you also know the reason Pats got Brady at 199 is they erased his name from the draft sheets of the other 31 teams and also distributed fake film clips. Not fair and at least we know why.

  56. “I think what the AB deal shows is that some people don’t really care what it takes to win,,,,,any cost justifies winning….cheating….lying. They also call people complaining about this cry babies but were the shoes on the other foot would be complaining loudly…..Deflategate ring a bell. So I think the character of the Pats and their fans has been clearly define again and its not the success that people hate is the slimy way thy go about their business. Some people have morals and ethics ….and some don’t but its a hell of a way to ruin a once good sport.”

    You wouldn’t care AT ALL if this were any other team. Save it.

  57. People think Goodell, who railroaded and suspended the QB, is helping the Patriots?

    I don’t expect much from AB, and I don’t care but I’m so glad this happened just to watch the hater’s heads explode.

  58. Pats fans – after his release from Oak, we won’t sign AB. He ain’t no Randy Moss- he is 100 times worse.

    Two hours later – after Pats sign AB, haha haters. Eat it. We got AB.

    Just comical.

  59. burtmustin says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:50 am

    LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.

    ————————————–

    The guy walked out on his team. The rest of the NFL knows that’s a problem and stayed away. The Patriots, who get upset if someone is 5 minutes late for a meeting in a snow storm had no problem taking a guy that walked away from his team. It reeks. Badly.

  60. If the Patriots indeed offered a 1st round pick last year, wouldn’t AB’s representation be smart enough to know they’d be interested if there was no draft pick compensation just a few months later? Oh no, a conspiracy theory makes oh so much more sense. Get out the tin foil hats everyone.

  61. pendragon54 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:08 am
    Yes, an absolute conspiracy that Brown was in on. He and his agent, along with the Patriots hatched a plan to sign for half the money.

    ————————

    False. Once the Raiders voided Brown’s guaranteed money anything NE offered was greater than what Oakland was guaranteeing him, which was nothing. It was at that point Brown put on his act to get out of town, with the backing of the Pats of course. The Pats now get their one year rental with the option to transition tag and match other offers during the off season if they choose, and Brown can become a FA. Works great for both sides, league should definitely investigate tampering.

  62. floridapackfan says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:34 am

    One day someone will write a tell all book and spill the beans about the “Patriot way”. Then their true legacy can and will be determined.

    ————

    Good luck with that. Seth Wickersham has tried it multiple times, only to fade back into the woodwork where he belongs.

  63. Also, AB lost 21M in guarantees to sign with NE. No way Antonio Brown planned to give away 21M, just for the privilege of playing in NE.

  64. It is so funny to watch these people spew such idiocy when the truth is so easily verifiable.

    Case in point — Blount cleared waivers for 31 other teams before the Pats picked him back up.

    And these people are in here bringing that up as if it means anything.

  65. I have stopped rehashing the patriots cheat mantra. BB does every thing possible to give his team an edge. he is why they are dominant. I think he’s a dick but most of that is I am a buffalo fan.

  66. It’s not NE’s fault that they have built an organization that players want to join and are willing to do so for less money than they would want from other teams.

    It’s basically the same recruiting advantage any well run company in any industry has over their inferior competition.

  67. steelercrazy says:
    pendragon54 says:
    Yes, an absolute conspiracy that Brown was in on. He and his agent, along with the Patriots hatched a plan to sign for half the money.
    ————————
    False. Once the Raiders voided Brown’s guaranteed money anything NE offered was greater than what Oakland was guaranteeing him, which was nothing. It was at that point Brown put on his act to get out of town, with the backing of the Pats of course. The Pats now get their one year rental with the option to transition tag and match other offers during the off season if they choose, and Brown can become a FA. Works great for both sides, league should definitely investigate tampering.
    ——————–
    They voided his guarantees and cut him in a few hours. Also, everyone knew that if they voided his guarantees he would go even crazier. Did you really think that AB would just become a model player, after they cut his guarantees?

  68. Bottom line it’s the Raiders fault he’s in New England all they had to do is suspend him and he’s at home with no money and no ability to sign with anyone else plain and simple

  69. Gee, I noticed the Raiders haven’t complained. Wonder why. Because there’s nothing to see here. And there’s immoral or unethical about signing a FA WR That the Raiders decided they couldn’t handle. Nothing to do with cheating. Not sure it’s a good idea, but downside seems minimal. Be interesting to see how the Pats find the money.

  70. burtmustin says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:50 am
    LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.
    ————————————————–
    Let me explain something to you and everyone else who thinks this way. Bill Belichick is way smarter than you. He knew that no team was going to make a claim on a player who acted as insubordinately as Blount did. The only team who was going to make a claim on such a player was a team who had a plan in place with him before he was let go.

  71. There is no way to prve it, but it happened. Only homers will be blinded, in all seriousness. “Blount was subject to Waivers”, what NFL GM/Coach is going to actively pursue a headache? Except for one where there is already a wink/nod in place. Same thing here. Nobody is going to take on AB. His destructive personality is far worse than I have ever seen in my 30 years of watching football. He should be in a looney bin for the stunts he’s pulled, how can you even respect a guy like this? Inks. It even dry on his release papers and he’s making a 1/3rd of his OG salary and in his way to NE. This just smells so staged it’s like watching a WWE match. Yeah, I’m a hater, so what. I’m also a realist, and know nothing is going to be done.

  72. Thanks Patriots for rewarding a selfish cry baby diva a guaranteed 9 million dollar contract. After all in today’s NFL organizations like the New England Patriots reward players that quit on their teams. I hope the Pats lose this season starting game 1.

  73. Of course Brown was doing some of this to get released….who knows when he hatched this plan…..and I’d guess there was tampering both ways…..but let’s not pretend this type of stuff does not happen all of the time and only care because it’s the Patriots (Browns fan speaking here). Also, while Rosenhaus is what he is, he can handle my next contract/negotiation if he’d like…..he’s just repping his clients.

  74. I don’t think the Patriots did anything but scoop up a player that offered himself to them. But I do think AB needs to be looked at for how he got to a point to offer himself. If the league were to suspend him for much of the season over his antics these past few weeks I would not have an argument against that. I would rather lose a receiver than see stunts like this become a thing around the NFL so go ahead and crush it guys.

  75. Blount had the choice to sign with whomever he wanted, since he was a vested veteran, just like Brown was. If you don’t think was planned all along, them you are gullible.

  76. as soon as Drew learned the raiders were going after that 30 mill ( thursday ) he was in contact with the pats working out a contract.

    tampering

  77. No conspiracy at all. Why wouldn’t he want to go to a great system and team. And premier QB? Now he’s on a true Super Bowl contender instead of an unorganized Raider team. Instead of the 24th ranked Deep passing QB he is with Brady. Good move for him.

  78. kenmasters34 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 12:05 pm
    Also, AB lost 21M in guarantees to sign with NE. No way Antonio Brown planned to give away 21M, just for the privilege of playing in NE.

    ————————-

    Brown didn’t “give away” 21 million in guarantees, the Raiders voided it.

  79. Brown 100% knew what he was doing. He did about everything a “person” could to to sabatoge employment. Then he gets rewarded for that behavior. Bravo Mr.Brown for being an expert at playing the system.

  80. This reminds me of the Randy Moss stint in New England, this time with extra shenanigans. Do you all remember how badly that ended? Hopefully this will too. Buying that last, nutty but very talented player usually backfires.

  81. If Brown knew what he was doing, then Mayock didn’t know what he’s doing when he took AB’s guaranteed $$$ off the table.

    Plantation approach didn’t work….

  82. kenmasters34 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm
    steelercrazy says:
    pendragon54 says:
    Yes, an absolute conspiracy that Brown was in on. He and his agent, along with the Patriots hatched a plan to sign for half the money.
    ————————
    False. Once the Raiders voided Brown’s guaranteed money anything NE offered was greater than what Oakland was guaranteeing him, which was nothing. It was at that point Brown put on his act to get out of town, with the backing of the Pats of course. The Pats now get their one year rental with the option to transition tag and match other offers during the off season if they choose, and Brown can become a FA. Works great for both sides, league should definitely investigate tampering.
    ——————–
    They voided his guarantees and cut him in a few hours. Also, everyone knew that if they voided his guarantees he would go even crazier. Did you really think that AB would just become a model player, after they cut his guarantees?

    ———————–

    They only cut Brown after he asked to be released and started putting on his act.

  83. Stop with the half the money excuses. It wasn’t half the money. That money was already lost. Brown went from a week-to-week contract worth $14.6M and no guarantees to a $15M contract with $9M guaranteed and a bite at the free agency apple in 2020. People have been talking about Brown losing his guarantees and/or getting released for a couple weeks. There is no doubt Rosenhaus was talking to teams and setting up a contingency plan in case his head case receiver continued his stupidity. Brown’s actions from the Mayock confrontation forward were designed to expedite his release. The conspiracy theory is legit but it is directed towards the Patriots because that’s who Brown picked. I’m pretty sure other teams had ball-park offers in as well.

  84. The only person who doesn’t realize that they were getting played is the Raiders. The Patriots are like thank you again for another Hall of Fame receiver for nothing. This time it didn’t even take a draft pick liwith Moss.

  85. Unless Brown has a catastrophic injury, he’ll more than recoup his money. His 30 mil guaranteed with the Raiders was a signing bonus, 2019 salary and 2020 salary. He can make 15 mil with the Pats this yr and get a huge contract in FA next offseason. Provided he doesn’t wig out again. Granted, a big if. People crying tampering do not know ANYTHING. They hate the Pats so they want it to be true. I don’t see the Raiders filing a grievance or asking the NFL to look into it.

  86. Blount went through the waiver wire, no one claimed him, nice try though. Oakland didn’t have to cut him either. Either present facts or move on.

  87. mikespillane337 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 11:37 am
    Now go get Calvin Johnson.. You haters would die. I love your misery.
    ———————
    Nice example. Calvin Johnson has been out of football for several years and wouldn’t play as well as he did. Nice try though coming from the guy who thinks all Patriots have integrity.

  88. I remember how excited Raider fans were when news of the Brown trade was announced.
    Everyone assumes that AB will turn off the drama queen and perform at a high level for their team. Brown is not the same person he was three or four years ago. Something happened- I assume a shot to the head. Maybe the Burfict hit. whatever it is, He is not right. He will stay in line and drop the diva IF (and only IF)he gets the personal stats, attention, social media freedom, ability to say what he wants with zero implications, ect. to feed the ego. It has to be fed or he is out.

  89. Well I guess so it didn’t happen out of the blue. The NFL regards itself as sports entertainment not contested sport. This was scripted months ago. Sheep need to wake up. Google NFL regards itself as sports entertainment and a 2010 court case pops up. NFL has been fixed for a long time .

  90. was a free agent and any team could have signed him. They got a deal done in 6 hours. Any good agent would have the parameters of a deal outlined the only thing to negotiate was the guarantee. He got the same money he had in Oakland, $15.9 for the first year there and $15 million in NE

    Missing the point. He gets let go, then is free to sign anywhere. That means he picks his team he chooses which means he played the raiders to sign with NE. No doubt this was planned at some point but how do you prove it

  91. onebuffalove716 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 1:17 pm
    was a free agent and any team could have signed him. They got a deal done in 6 hours. Any good agent would have the parameters of a deal outlined the only thing to negotiate was the guarantee. He got the same money he had in Oakland, $15.9 for the first year there and $15 million in NE

    Missing the point. He gets let go, then is free to sign anywhere. That means he picks his team he chooses which means he played the raiders to sign with NE. No doubt this was planned at some point but how do you prove it

    0 0 Rate This

    The deal was done days ago , they couldn’t sign it until he cried his way out of Oakland .

  92. If you believe this was another conspiracy, then concede that Brown’s agent, Rosenhaus, and the Patriots just legally outwitted the rest of the teams that wanted Brown as most NFL teams are run by stodgy NFL lifers who manage their teams with that “Plantation Owner’s mentality” and who view their players as indentured serfs.
    A few free thinking teams are the Chiefs, Rams, Cardinals, and Patriots as they are willing think out of the box.

  93. You have to be pretty naive to not think that this was planned all along…some fans really want to believe that everything is on the up and up…

  94. Raiders should have suspended him and tell him to sit out his guanteed money would have been gone. BS but the NFL won’t do anything because they want those ratings. It’s good for business even though it’s downright cheating.

  95. That means Belichick changes the offense system again, like he foolishly did in 2007 and 2017, which means Brady will struggle in playoff against top defense and Pats won’t win SB.

  96. “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…”

    Correct. It was a FA signing, not some tinfoil hat conspiracy back door deal.

    Glad we’re all on the same page.

  97. “The Patriots are a team with a known history of cheating, so should we really be surprised?”

    FA signing of the best WR in football is now cheating. So transparent it’s downright hilarious. You people are insane.

  98. armlesshippy says:
    September 8, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    “The Patriots are a team with a known history of cheating, so should we really be surprised?”

    FA signing of the best WR in football is now cheating. So transparent it’s downright hilarious. You people are insane.

    2

    1

    ———————————-

    Their mental illness has reached legendary highs. Freud could have made millions just focusing on this people alone.

  99. The “but 31 other teams had a shot at Blount!” excuse doesn’t cut it. Blount’s walk-out act was designed to scare off everybody else but the Patriots — if it was a scheme as many suspect.

    Players should not be allowed to punk their way out of contracts. This violates the entire spirit of the trade between the Steelers and Raiders, both of whom acted in good faith. The Steelers obviously desired Brown not to end up with a competitor like New England, and turned down a #1 pick. The Raiders have to eat the two draft picks they gave up. The Steelers effectively lose a #1, and the Raiders are denied the service of a player. That is simply unacceptable. The Commissioner needs to step in and VOID this deal pending investigation of possible tampering and collusion. That is the only way justice can be served here.

  100. cnmiddel says:
    September 8, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    It brings me some joy to know that pats fans have a season maybe two before Brady retires and they spend the next 10 years sucking

    2

    1

    ———————-

    Well, you’re in for a very rude awakening, because Stidham is the real deal and the infrastructure and teambuilding approaches in the Cap Era in NE will go NOWHERE once Brady and/or BB leave.

    The Krafts know what they want because they know what works. These approaches are open to any franchise out there who wants to try to attain them.

    Enjoy!

  101. The problem I have with this article is there are no facts, no real argument, to support these suspicions. By saying the “suspicions grow” hints that there’s something to support these suspicions, causing them to grow, but… The Blount example from 4 years ago is a joke. You could use Martellus Bennett as an example as well and that would be a joke too.

  102. Hard to believe that either Bill Belichick or Robert Kraft would be involved in such nefarious behavior just to try to win a super bowl. Its unimagineable. Not to mention Drew Rosenhaus is an agent with an unbleached record of integrity. And Goodell is once again demonstrating his commitment to fair and consistent treatment of players who violate the personal conduct policy such as by say – trying to attack their GM. Friggin ridiculous!

  103. mutantclover says:
    September 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm
    The problem I have with this article is there are no facts, no real argument, to support these suspicions.
    —————–

    Welcome to Patriots articles. If you can’t beat them, fabricate lies about them.

  104. aarons444 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 12:15 pm
    Hopefully Roger strips them of their entire draft class this time around.
    ————————————-
    Seems that stealing draft picks from the Patriots in now an accepted strategy. 31 teams already supported stealing 2 draft picks from the Patriots because those teams wanted a chance to win a participation trophy.

    Besides actual tampering, like when the Jets were found guilty of tampering when Darrell Revis played for the Patriots, only resulted in a $100,000 fine.

    Hopefully Roger releases the PSI information from the 2015 NFL season and then gives the Patriots an extra 1st and 2nd round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft to make up for the stolen picks. Better late than never.

  105. burtmustin says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:50 am
    LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.
    ====================================================================
    Not true !!! as a vested veteran Blount did NOT have to go thru waivers.

  106. stillers1963 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 5:20 pm
    burtmustin says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:50 am
    LeGarrette Blount had to go through the waiver process and any team with an inferior record to the Patriots, had the opportunity to select him.
    ====================================================================
    Not true !!! as a vested veteran Blount did NOT have to go thru waivers.

    *****
    Former Pittsburgh Steelers running back LeGarrette Blount passed through waivers unclaimed Wednesday and is now free to sign with any team, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

    Blount passed through waivers. A simple google search will verify this fact.

  107. Oakland should sue AB for fraud. He never had any intentions on playing for the Raiders. Not only did he steal a forth round pick that was giving to Pittsburgh He also stole opportunities from other receivers that were trying to get on the 53 man rooster. Now their either out flipping burgers or wasting on a practice squad somewhere. What a poor excuse of a human being.

  108. Why was Antonio Brown allowed to use derogatory terms and no one calls him out on it. Trump calls someone a cracker and I bet it’s impeachment time, just saying. Oh that rights, AB has mental issues, please, give him the Oscar for best Actor and his agent one for best supporting

  109. Steelers really flubbed this but it won’t matter until next year. Steelers were doomed coming into this year already. Ben has destroyed the locker room, team morale, everything.

  110. Football — The world’s greatest game

    NFL — Corrupt, unethical and sleazy

    Patriots — An organization with know moral compass whatsoever. Murderers, steroids, domestic abuse, cheating, owner solicitation, tampering and a boatload of ‘luck’ (see Seattle, Atlanta in the SB)

    At some point, all of this garbage will catch the NFL

  111. I love how the hate has generated an unreal level of paranoia in some people. Brown decided that losing $30 million was worth going to the Patriots? GTFOH with that.

    Raiders made their bed when they decided to disqualify Brown from receiving his signing bonus. Couch whatever Brown did in the worst light you can and it’s not worth what is effectively a $30 million fine. From that point forward, it was untenable that Brown would stay with the Raiders. Moreover, Brown wouldn’t let anyone trade for him either because… why should he let the Raiders get anything after docking him $30 million?

    So after being released, Brown was open to signing with anyone. He and Rosenhaus already knew the Patriots wanted him and he wanted them. How much work should it take to iron out something both of them wanted to get done when there was nothing interfering? It should be more surprising that it took as long as it did.

  112. therealraider says:
    September 8, 2019 at 10:56 am
    I have no doubt that Drew Rosenhaus reached out to see if New England might have interest if things didn’t work out in Oakland. […]

    ————————————-

    Hey Sherlock, Rosenhaus already knew the Patriots had interest because the Patriots had been begging the Steelers for a deal earlier in the year. He knew the Patriots would be a team to reach out to BEFORE Brown was ever traded from the Steelers in the first place. It was probably the first call he made after the release. And why bother to call before the release when you know the team that wants your guy the most is going to be the team you call first after the release?

  113. Don’t come here armed with the facts – the fans of the other 31 so desperately need to believe that the Patriots are evil and only win because they cheat.
    ——————————————————————————————————————–
    You are absolutely correct – the Patriots do not win only because they cheat.

  114. “Stop with the half the money excuses. It wasn’t half the money. That money was already lost.”

    Now this, this is hilarious. In order for your conspiracy theory to hold water your little take here is irrelevant. You can’t say this was all an act to get released and then turn around and say the money doesn’t matter. This “act” led to him losing the money, AND, getting released. He absolutely DID lose half his money by putting on this “act” and getting released.

    I swear to god the Patriots make otherwise normal people’s brains malfunction.

  115. We can rename this the whiner thread …

    It’s also just as likely it happened quickly because Gronkowski and Brown share the same agent. Or the fact the Pats showed interest during the off season.

    As usual this couldn’t possibly be about a player and his agent reaching out to the Pats to see if there was interest. Naturally there has to be some nefarious tampering that went along with it. So while hundreds and thousands of fans who hate everything there is to do with the Patriots continue to hang on to a (yet another) unfounded contrived fictional story they’ll still fail to realize that even if it was true it most certainly wouldn’t be the first time in NFL history that it ever happened.

  116. superpatriotsfan says:
    September 8, 2019 at 5:19 pm
    A week ago the Patriots homers didn’t want Antonio Brown. Why didn’t Belichick consult with the Patriots homers, they know it all.
    =================
    Well at least you’re finally admitting it.

  117. ampatsisahypocrite says:
    September 8, 2019 at 2:12 pm
    The “but 31 other teams had a shot at Blount!” excuse doesn’t cut it. Blount’s walk-out act was designed to scare off everybody else but the Patriots — if it was a scheme as many suspect.

    Players should not be allowed to punk their way out of contracts. This violates the entire spirit of the trade between the Steelers and Raiders, both of whom acted in good faith. The Steelers obviously desired Brown not to end up with a competitor like New England, and turned down a #1 pick. The Raiders have to eat the two draft picks they gave up. The Steelers effectively lose a #1, and the Raiders are denied the service of a player. That is simply unacceptable. The Commissioner needs to step in and VOID this deal pending investigation of possible tampering and collusion. That is the only way justice can be served here.
    ===========================
    And yet if the Steelers took the reported deal with the Pats they would still have an extra #1. Despite no other teams willing to surrender a pick that high for Brown. The Steelers still got two draft picks regardless of what went down. It’s funny that we should entertain the notion of feeling bad for the Steelers due to what appears to be attributed to nothing more than stubbornness or incompetence. Losing a #1 … lol. Pure … fiction. The Raiders got nothing and arguably even less than that.

    The point you and many others continue to miss is once a player is released any team is free to contact the player. So stop with the ridiculous notion that the “act was designed to scare off everybody else but the Patriots”. One team offering more money blows that theory right out of the water. Would a million extra dollars void a behind the back wink nod agreement? Of course it would. You know it. We all know it.

    The Raiders didn’t have to release Brown. You understand that right? There was another option available the Radiers never pursued. Once Brown apologized for being a prima donna they could have very well left wit alone and see how it shook out. Instead they saw an opportunity and over reachedby pulling back $30 million. If they didn’t touch that money Brown wouldn’t be a Patriot now. Full stop.

  118. johnnycantread says:
    September 8, 2019 at 1:53 pm
    If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck…
    ===================
    You’d take countless players\coaches\GMs that have lost to the Patriots and put forward a story the reason they continue to lose is because of:

    * suspect wireless communications
    * deflated balls
    * camera location
    * tampering

    Did I forget anything?

  119. I’ll keep saying it to all of the haters and armchair lawyers on here IT’S ALL ON THE RAIDERS!! All they had to do was suspend him and send him home for conduct detrimental to the team, and then void his guaranteed money based on that, and he’s sitting at home unable to play football with no guaranteed money, and a bunch of fines waiting for him if and when he returns. Then he can’t go sign with anyone else, but that’s not what they did they released him, and he was available to sign with anyone. Of course the Patriots swooped in and signed him it’s a smart business move, because if he becomes disruptive there they won’t simply let him walk away they’ll suspend him. Forcing him to watch football from his couch while THEY control where he goes next

  120. Its almost as if the Patriots, Steelers and ABrown had talks last year about the trade and contract that he ultimately got in the Raiders deal. Belichick is the most anti-tampering coach in the NFL. His entire approach with the media for many years has been to avoid giving opponents free information and not stumbling into a tampering violation with an off hand comment. He literally told the media two weeks ago that he hadn’t heard the Andrew Luck news. Because… tampering. There’s no evidence Pats front office tampered.

  121. aarons444 says:
    September 8, 2019 at 12:15 pm
    Hopefully Roger strips them of their entire draft class this time around.

    ====================================

    Because they signed… a free agent? Strange.

  122. Non Pats fans should be annoyed with the Raiders for not issuing a 5 day letter to Brown which would have shelved him for the year. Instead they whine, sans evidence yet again, that the Pats were being shady.

  123. superpatriotsfan says:

    September 8, 2019 at 1:05 pm

    Patriots homers forget that Randy Moss didn’t win a SB with the Patriots…

    ======================

    I don’t think any Pats fan forgets the Helmet Catch game. That would be an odd thing to forget. Again your point falls flat.

  124. The current CBA does NOT allow a team to send a player home with or without pay. The players fought for that in the 2009 CBA. The ONLY way you can be forced to stay at home is if you are on the commissioner’s exempt list, which was created to handle problems like Greg Hardy and Adrian Peterson and other players that did things that made the NFL look bad.

    Teams can’t just send players home, it’s in the CBA. The players fought for it and the owners conceded it. The only thing they could have done was suspend Brown for conduct detrimental to the team, but that only takes away his game checks and not his guaranteed money.

  125. If OAK tried to suspend him AND void his guarantee he would’ve fought both the suspension and the void of his guaranteed money with the help of the NFLPA. It would’ve been a big headache that would have taken at minimum half a season to resolve.

    So you see they couldn’t void his guarantee & suspend him because if they did that he would fight it, potentially in court. So they voided his guarantee and cut him knowing that he would sign with another team and gladly accept the void and his release. Ultimately he is getting what he wants, which is to play for the team of his choice. He also has a good chance at a Super Bowl ring this year, which is what AB wants because he knows in order to make money after your playing career you pretty much need a SB ring.

    All the Saints who have ever done commentary for college or pros or even worked pre-season games were all on our Super Bowl winning team. You also have to have a nice voice and a pretty face and AB pretty much has both of those. Some fans definitely hate him, but most casuals just remember him from Dancing with the Stars.

    As to whether the Patriots engaged in tampering, it’s completely and totally impossible to prove, so that’s all that really matters. It’s obvious that AB did a lot of intentional things to get released from Oakland, but surely he didn’t burn his feet on purpose! He probably was OK with it after he saw the silver lining, lol.

  126. nodiosmio says:

    September 10, 2019 at 3:59 am

    If OAK tried to suspend him AND void his guarantee he would’ve fought both the suspension and the void of his guaranteed money with the help of the NFLPA. It would’ve been a big headache that would have taken at minimum half a season to resolve.

    So you see they couldn’t void his guarantee & suspend him because if they did that he would fight it, potentially in court. So they voided his guarantee and cut him knowing that he would sign with another team and gladly accept the void and his release. Ultimately he is getting what he wants, which is to play for the team of his choice. He also has a good chance at a Super Bowl ring this year, which is what AB wants because he knows in order to make money after your playing career you pretty much need a SB ring.

    All the Saints who have ever done commentary for college or pros or even worked pre-season games were all on our Super Bowl winning team. You also have to have a nice voice and a pretty face and AB pretty much has both of those. Some fans definitely hate him, but most casuals just remember him from Dancing with the Stars.

    As to whether the Patriots engaged in tampering, it’s completely and totally impossible to prove, so that’s all that really matters. It’s obvious that AB did a lot of intentional things to get released from Oakland, but surely he didn’t burn his feet on purpose! He probably was OK with it after he saw the silver lining, lol.

    ==============================

    Raiders could have issued a 5 day letter and put him on the reserved/left squad list which would have prevented him from playing for the rest of the season.

    A player who is placed on Reserve/Left Squad shall remain on the Reserve List of his club for the remainder of the regular season and postseason and shall not be eligible to be reinstated to the Active List of the club or any other club until the year following the season in which he was placed in such category. He is ineligible to play, practice, or attend meetings of his club or any club in the League or to use the facilities of his club or any other club in any manner whatsoever for the remainder of the regular season and postseason. No player in the category of Reserve/Left Squad may be traded to another club in the League in the same season in which he is placed in such category, nor may a club request waivers for or terminate a player who is on Reserve/Left Squad in the same season in which he is placed in such category.

    So the Raiders in effect could have held this over Brown’s head and taken the season away from him if they wanted.

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