In addition to his announcement, Brown fired off scorched-earth tweets that he deleted just before noon, implying there was a double standard in how he was treated compared with Kraft, who pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor charges of soliciting a prostitute last winter, and others who have been accused of sexual assault, including his former quarterback in Pittsburgh, Roethlisberger, and Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe.
“Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore,” he tweeted. “These owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !”
After being traded by the Steelers in March, he was cut by the Oakland Raiders before the start of the season. His stint with Kraft’s Patriots lasted just 11 days and one game. Although he played in Week 2 after the filing of a lawsuit alleging rape and sexual assault in 2017 and 2018, he was cut after a Sports Illustrated report last week that he had allegedly threatened a second victim. Brown has not been arrested, and he has denied the allegations by both women. He has not addressed the threats.
“Kraft got caught in the parlor AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly,” he tweeted.
In response to his Patriots ouster, he will file a grievance, according to ESPN, to get the $10 million guaranteed by New England, with $5 million of the $9 million signing bonus due to be paid Monday. The NFL Players Association will represent him. However, personal misconduct can void guarantees, something contained in contracts in all sports leagues. His tweet about the Patriots’ owner isn’t going to engender any goodwill with Kraft, and even though Brown deleted it, it may well trigger a clause that would void his deal.
The Patriots declined to comment through a spokesman about Brown’s comments about Kraft. New England Coach Bill Belichick declined to comment following Sunday’s victory over the New York Jets on the decision to release Brown, saying, “Yeah, we’ll just focus on today’s game.”
The NFLPA did not immediately respond to a request for comment about a potential grievance or grievances on behalf of Brown. His contract with the Patriots includes a clause saying that his guarantees “will be null and void” if he “takes any action that materially undermines the public’s respect for, or is materially critical of, the Club, Player’s teammates or the Club’s ownership, coaches, management, operations or policies.”
Brown’s one-year contract with the Patriots was to be worth up to $15 million and included the $9 million signing bonus. The Oakland Raiders previously informed Brown that they were voiding about $29.1 million in guarantees in his three-year, $50.1 million contract with them. The Raiders accommodated Brown’s request to be released Sept. 7 following a series of incidents that included a practice-field verbal confrontation with General Manager Mike Mayock. Brown agreed to his contract with the Patriots later that day, and the team announced the signing Sept. 9.
In his tweets, Brown called out Roethlisberger, noting that he was suspended in 2010 for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy after being accused of sexually assaulting a Georgia college student following a night of drinking. He was the first player suspended under the NFL’s personal conduct policy who was not arrested, charged with or convicted of a crime.
“4 games for Big Ben,” he tweeted, “crazy world I’m done with it.”
Sharpe, the Hall of Famer who appears on Fox Sports 1 and formerly appeared on CBS, was accused of sexual assault and making threats by a former girlfriend in 2010. The charges were dismissed, but that report did not escape Brown, either.
Brown continued with another tweet, sharing a link to a Daily Beast story about Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko allegedly being threatened by Patriots fans after he reported the second allegation, the one that led to Brown’s release. “System working effectively,” he noted.
Brown threatened retirement last month, when the helmet he had worn through his career was discontinued by the manufacturer and not certified by the national governing body because it was more than 10 years old. Brown was one of 32 NFL players who wore non-approved helmets last season and were told they would not be able to wear them this year under a program jointly administered by the league and the NFLPA. He filed, and lost, a grievance and began working out with the Raiders, until his Sept. 9 release.
Brown’s latest retirement threat may well be a moot issue because the NFL hinted in a statement Friday that if a team were to pick up Brown, he would immediately be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, meaning that he would not be allowed to play or attend practice while the NFL is investigating the allegations against him. The league added that it had “made no findings” yet.
“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate,” the statement said. “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.”
On Friday, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, wrote on Twitter that his client is “healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL,” adding that he hoped to play “soon” for another team.
Read more NFL coverage from The Post: