Based on the comments from ESPN’s Adam Schefter during his appearance on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria following the news of Antonio Brown’s release, there are some within the Patriots organization who would’ve been OK with moving on from the wide receiver after the first set of allegations were levied against him.
In three instances throughout the interview, Schefter expressed his confidence in reporting there were members of the franchise who did not want to sign Brown initially. Though he expressed he did not know specifically who was in that camp.
“Even when they signed him, not everybody was on board with signing him at that point in time,” Schefter said. “But there were enough people — enough key people — that felt that they should. And so they did. And so after they signed him, the allegations of the sexual assault surfaced. People (were) not thrilled. You put up with it. But the circus came to town and never left town. And today, when Bill Belichick walks into that press conference, it’s an example of it. Five questions of Antonio Brown. He doesn’t want to talk about this. This is a 2-0 team, about to go to 3-0. This is a 3-0 team that is trying to make more history. And all anybody is talking about is the latest group of texts (from) Antonio Brown — who’s already been accused of three different sexual assaults, who’s already had a civil lawsuit filed against him, who already had the NFL investigate him, all in the span of 11 days. ‘Is (he) going to play on Sunday?’ What his status is.
“I think that when you have these high-level discussions and factor in everything that happened, it’s very simple. You make the basic decision that this is not worth this. No matter how good a player he is, no matter how much he might bring to our offense, no matter how dynamic he might be as a player — and he is a tremendous talent as a player — it is not worth keeping somebody like this around. That is the decision that the patriots came to this afternoon, and that, ultimately, is why they released him.”
Also, Schefter would not characterize this as a change of heart. In part because he indicated the Patriots didn’t know any of this was coming when they signed Brown. One thing led to another and there did not seem to be an end in sight.
“It’s a situation where, basically, the story on Sports Illustrated unfolded last night, and if you add that log onto the fire that was already burning, you get the situation that leads to his release this afternoon,” Schefter said.
And when it comes to another team taking a flier this season, that doesn’t appear likely.
“When New England cuts you like that, why is another team going to go ahead and sign him?” Schefter said.