Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown seemingly encouraged threats of violence against Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko on Sunday.
Brown tweeted (and later deleted) "system working effectively" while responding to news that Klemko, who reported on texts the former Patriot sent to a woman who accused Brown of sexual misconduct, has received hateful and violent messages from New England fans.
The Patriots released Brown on Friday following Klemko's report, which included a group message where Brown used threatening language and posted pictures of the woman's children.
"The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown," the Patriots said in a statement upon his release. "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 since his release from the Oakland Raiders earlier this month. Britney Taylor sued Brown within days of him signing with the Patriots, alleging three instances of sexual assault. The NFL is currently investigating the accusations made by both women, but the Patriots allowed Brown to play in last Sunday's win over the Miami Dolphins.
However, the texts sent by Brown to his second accuser proved to be a final straw for the Patriots. The team was scheduled to pay him $5 million of his $9 million signing bonus Monday. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the Patriots are not planning to pay Brown. ESPN's Adam Schefter added that Patriots owner Robert Kraft will "never" sign another check for the receiver, who ripped Kraft in a tweet Sunday.
Brown was previously complimentary of his time in New England, but it appears the potential loss of his guaranteed money has soured his previously positive disposition. NFL teams are currently eligible to sign Brown but are considered unlikely to do so until the investigation into the allegations against him concludes.