Patriots Withhold Antonio Brown’s $5M Signing Bonus Due to Lawsuit

Brown's contract called for $9 million in bonuses, but the team doesn't want to pay

Patriots Withhold $5 Million Bonus Due to Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown talks with Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels. (Michael Reaves/Getty)
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By Evan Bleier / September 25, 2019 9:22 am

After deciding on Friday that Antonio Brown no longer belonged on their team, the New England Patriots decided on Monday that they also don’t want to pay him his signing bonus.

The contract Brown signed with the team following his departure from the Oakland Raiders called for him to be paid a $9 million dollar signing bonus in two installments, the first of which was due on Monday, according to ProFootballTalk.

New England opted not to pay the $5 million and, should he choose to file a grievance, will be prepared to argue that Brown breached his contract by withholding information about the civil lawsuit he was hit with after joining the team.

Brown will almost certainly dispute the non-payment but may only end up with his $283,333 minimum pay from the team.

Prior to the Patriots withholding Brown’s money, he went on a Twitter rant over the weekend where, among other things, he brought up New England owner Robert Kraft being the subject of a criminal investigation after visiting an illicit Florida massage parlor.

“Kraft never writing that check, no matter what the ruling is now,” a source told ESPN.

During the rant, Brown said he won’t be returning to the NFL, but Jemele Hill of The Atlantic isn’t buying it.

“When the furor over Brown’s Twitter rant inevitably dies down, some other NFL team might conceivably hold its nose and sign him to a contract,” she writes. “After all, he didn’t do anything truly repugnant — such as taking a knee to bring awareness to inequality and racial injustice.”

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, discussed his client’s NFL future on Warren Sapp “99 Problems” podcast and what he had to say jibes with Hill’s assessment.

“I believe that Antonio wants to continue his career in the NFL,” he said. “I’ve had discussions with a few teams that are very interested in him and want to know about his future and what’s going on with the NFL—and hopefully when that is all resolved, Antonio will be able to continue his Hall of Fame career.”

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