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Are Antonio Brown's Grievances Justified?

The wide receiver and the NFLPA are fighting to ensure that Brown gets the money promised to him by the Patriots

Kris LaGrange's picture
Sep 30, 2019

Four weeks into the season and the Antonio Brown saga shows no signs of slowing down. After an injury and a lengthy holdout over his helmet, Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders. Hours later, he was on a plane heading to Boston to play for the New England Patriots. Then accusations of sexual assault came out and after playing just one game with the Patriots, Brown was once again released.

Faced with the loss of $61 million, Brown and NFLPA, are preparing to file 9 grievances and appeals with the league. This would make Brown the first player to simultaneously contest 9 grievances at the same time. According to ESPN the wide receiver’s grievances and appeals involve the following issues and sums of money:

  • Salary guarantees with Oakland: $29 million
  • Signing bonus with Raiders: $1 million
  • Oakland's unpaid Week 1 salary: $860,000
  • New England Patriots' salary guarantee: $1 million
  • Patriots signing bonus: $9 million
  • Patriots' unpaid Week 3 salary: $64,000
  • Patriots' option year in 2020: $20 million
  • Fine appeals with the Oakland Raiders: $215,000

The 9th appeal is expected to come once the NFL decides to take action and fine or suspend him for his actions. The League could decide to put Brown on their exempt list while they further investigate claims of sexual assault. He also could be suspended for his continued harassment on social media of players still in the league.

While it is unlikely Brown will win all of his appeals, the NFLPA will have a vested interest in making sure that the Patriots pay the $9 million signing bonus. The union considers this type of payment “money earned,” and in the collective bargaining agreement they negotiated very limited situations where a team can not pay this. Brown also has a strong case for the $64,000 the Patriots owe him for his Week 3 salary, since Brown played in the game.

It seems that even with Brown out of the league, the star wide receiver has found a way to stay in the headlines.

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