King: NFL Doesn't Plan to Investigate Antonio Brown's Behavior, Patriots Signing

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 9, 2019

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15:  Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Oakland Raiders warms up before the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The NFL reportedly does not plan to investigate the circumstances that led to Antonio Brown's departure from the Oakland Raiders and quick signing with the New England Patriots.

Peter King of NBC Sports reported the league will also not look into "whether it set a precedent that if a star player doesn't like where he is, he can act up for three or four days and drive a team so crazy that it will release him."

The Raiders released Brown on Saturday, and he agreed to a one-year contract with the New England Patriots by the late afternoon. Brown's departure came after a falling out with the franchise, particularly with general manager Mike Mayock, after he was fined for missing two mandatory team activities while appealing the NFL's ban of his preferred helmet.

The nature of Brown's departure from Oakland seems, at least in part, to be premeditated. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported Sunday that Brown sought the advice of social media experts on how to expedite his departure from the Raiders after being fined.

Brown first posted the fine on Instagram and then confronted Mayock at practice before requesting his release after the Raiders fined him again for the altercation with the general manager. The Raiders granted the request not long after Brown made it, allowing him to sign with the Patriots.

Mortensen also reported the Patriots were willing to give up a first-round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for Brown during the offseason. However, Pittsburgh did not want to trade him to a rival and instead took a third- and fifth-round pick from Oakland.

Because agent Drew Rosenhaus was involved in trade discussions to get Brown out of Pittsburgh, he surely knew which suitors to contact upon his release from Oakland. King noted there was at least one other team aggressively pursuing Brown before he signed with the Patriots.

Teams around the league may not like seeing Brown in New England, but it's hard to see what reason the NFL would have to investigate. Brown had nearly $30 million on his contract guaranteed in Oakland, and he'll get only $10 million guaranteed in New England (up to $15 million with incentives). Other teams could have bid more aggressively and given Brown the same contract he inked in Oakland.

Brown's "antics" were also no different than the ones he displayed while forcing a trade from Pittsburgh, and this appears to have been a matter of the wideout falling out with Mayock because he felt disrespected. The Raiders didn't have to release him and could have placed him on an exempt list and forced him to sit out the entire season.

They didn't, and now the Patriots are once again benefactors.

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