LONDON: The New England Patriots on Friday released wide receiver Antonio Brown, who had only been with the team for a short time after a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct.
The defending Super Bowl champions announced the move in a statement emailed to reporters, minutes after Brown posted on Twitter: “Thank you for the opportunity @Patriots #GoWinIt.”
The team’s statement attributed to a Patriots spokesperson said, in its entirety: “The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. 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.”
Two women have accused Brown of sexual misconduct. Former trainer Britney Taylor has filed a civil lawsuit against Brown — accusing him of rape and sexual assault on three occasions. The lawsuit became public last week, and Taylor has had meetings with the NFL.
Sports Illustrated reported this week that another woman said Brown sexually harassed her while she working at his home — she turned around to find him standing there naked except for a small towel covering his genitals.
Brown, a four-time All-Pro, began his career in Pittsburgh after being drafted in 2010 as a sixth-round pick by the Steelers. Over time his relationship with the Steelers soured and he was traded this year to the Oakland Raiders.
Oakland signed Brown to a contract that would have paid him up to $50 million over the next three seasons, but he never played a game for the team. After getting into disagreements with the coach and general manager, he was released.
A few hours later, the Patriots signed Brown to a one-year deal that would have guaranteed him $9 million and paid him up to $15 million this season.