Just a few weeks that feel like a million years ago already, the Oakland Gruden Grinders voided all $29,125,000.00 of the guaranteed dollars in Antonio Brown’s contract. That, of course, led to most of us taking our Saturday morning coffee with a side of “Yikes” when AB told the team to release him, and then, well, you’ve all been here the last couple weeks, you know about...everything.
As it turns out, it’s looking like the Patriots aren’t planning on paying Brown another dime. Take it away, Pro Football Talk.
As expected, the Patriots didn't pay the first installment of Antonio Brown's $9 million signing bonus before Monday's deadline https://t.co/Z8a7ZAz0S3— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) September 24, 2019
You’ll have to excuse me if this is the first thing that came to mind:
Will the Pats end up having to pay the guarantees anyway? According to PFT, they very well might, but there’s no harm in standing pat and not forking it over until someone says they have to:
The move was widely expected, even though the team’s argument for not paying earned money to Brown ultimately may fail. He did not commit a “forfeitable breach” under the terms of the labor deal. Thus, the Patriots will have to fashion an argument based on, for example, Brown withholding information as to the threatened sexual assault and rape litigation from the team. The Patriots would argue that they wouldn’t have signed Brown if they’d known about the potential lawsuit, especially since it can (and did) spark an NFL investigation that could result in Brown being placed on paid leave.
Whatever the argument, there’s no downside in refusing to pay Brown. If he wins, he gets the money — without interest, attorneys’ fees, liquidated damages, or other costs. Given his recent history of erratic and aggressive behavior, an arbitrator may be inclined to find a way to bend the facts and applicable precedent in the direction of a finding that Brown will get nothing.
Meanwhile, here’s our good buddy Miguel Benzan’s assessment of the cap situation from the weekend:
What I do know about Antonio Brown.— Cap Space=$1,818,639 (@patscap) September 20, 2019
Pats are now off the hook for 14 46-man active roster bonuses. He will definitely get paid for 2 weeks. His 2019 salary is fully guaranteed but it can be voided because of behavior. Pats have not paid Brown any of his signing bonus.
And finally, Pro Football Talk says Brown will “undoubtedly” file a grievance to try to get the bonus and the rest his $1,000,000 in guaranteed salary anyway.
As always, we’ll keep you posted if and when more details roll in.