After less than two weeks with the club, Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots following allegations of sexual assault on him.
“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown,” the team said in a statement. “We appreciate the hard work of many people over the past 11 days, but we feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time.”
Brown played a game for the Patriots during his short stint and seemed effective for their 43-0 win against the Miami Dolphins, but his off field problems forced the Patriots to release Brown.
If there were anything to be deciphered from Patriots coach Bill Belichick on Brown’s role in the game against New York Jets, it were to be the release. “Uh, no. I’m not going to get into that. We’re going to do what’s best for our team like we always do,” he had said when asked about Brown’s role in the upcoming game then.
Following the release, Brown’s agent said that there wasn’t any problem with the fitness of the player and he is ready for new beginning.
“It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots,” Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, tweeted following the receiver’s release. “But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon.”
After initial rape allegations by former trainer, Britney Taylor, another woman came forward with similar allegations on Brown. Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked about these accusations to which he declined to comment anything.
“I know there are questions about Antonio,” he said. “We take all the situations with our team very seriously. There are some things we’re looking into. But I’m not going to have any comment on the off-the-field situations or questions on that.”
NFL confirmed on Friday evening the league is currently investigating the allegations on Brown.
“Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation,” an NFL spokesman was quoted as saying in a statement. “We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.
“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”
This has become the second instance in succession now that Brown has left the club without ending his contract. In fact, he did not play a single game for his previous club Oakland Raiders, which he left after a row of incidents.