Antonio Brown is gone from the Raiders, but he won’t be forgotten. In large part because he wants to get paid.
Brown, per Fowler, is considering a grievance attacking “three fines levied by the team, his unpaid Week 1 salary, his base salaries of $14.625 million and $14.5 million for 2019 and 2020, and a $1 million signing bonus as part of his three-year, $54-million deal signed in March.”
Brown’s departure from training camp on August 18, his failure to participate in a walk-through practice on August 22, and his August 28 altercation with G.M. Mike Mayock provided the basis for multiple fines, and for the voiding of his guaranteed salaries. The Raiders surely would defend any grievance targeting the guaranteed salaries based on Brown’s own behavior. An attack on the fines by Brown would be aimed at invalidating the basis for voiding his guarantees.
The Week One salary was earned during the work week preceding Brown’s release; he’s likely entitled to that amount. However, the Raiders would withhold from any such payment the amount of the fines imposed by the team.
The $1 million signing bonus actually was a pair of guaranteed workout bonuses, in the amount of $500,000 each. Brown didn’t earn the 2019 payment because he failed to participate in sufficient offseason workouts. The team surely will argue that the 2020 payment was voided.
Because the provision in Brown’s contract with the Raiders regarding guaranteed money includes offset language, anything Brown receives from the Patriots will reduce Oakland’s liability. If, for example, he gets $10 million from the Patriots, that’s $10 million less that he could get from the Raiders.
However it plays out, Brown has rights — and it’s the responsibility of the NFL Players Association to pursue them, win or lose.