Brown says he’s done with NFL

In tweet, WR ap­pears to re­tire; rips Kraft, Big Ben

The Morning Call - - SPORTS - By Jimmy Golen

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — An­to­nio Brown went on a Twit­ter rant on his first NFL Sun­day with­out a team, an­nounc­ing he was done for good with the league that ex­iled him. Even though, he claimed, it had been more le­nient to­ward others fac­ing al­le­ga­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

On the morn­ing the Pa­tri­ots, his most re­cent team, were pre­par­ing to play with­out him, the fleet-footed but fleet­ing re­ceiver tweeted: “Will not be play­ing in the NFL any­more” and took shots at Pa­tri­ots owner Robert Kraft and long­time Steel­ers quar­ter­back Ben Roeth­lis­berger.

Kraft was ar­rested in con­nec­tion with a pros­ti­tu­tion and sex­ual traf­fick­ing sting in a Florida mas­sage par­lor and has not been pun­ished; “Dif­fer­ent strokes dif­fer­ent folks clearly,” Brown wrote.

Roeth­lis­berger was sus­pended for four games in 2010 af­ter he was ac­cused of sex­ual as­sault for a sec­ond time. “4 games for Big Ben crazy world I’m done with it,” Brown tweeted over a screen­shot of a news ar­ti­cle about the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sev­eral of the tweets had been deleted by the time the Pa­tri­ots kicked off against the Jets.

One of the NFL’s most pro­lific re­ceivers for a decade, Brown was traded out of Pitts­burgh and re­leased in Oak­land af­ter wear­ing out his wel­come in both ci­ties.

The Pa­tri­ots signed him any­way, and just days later a for­mer trainer filed a civil law­suit in Florida ac­cus­ing him of rape. He played in one game, then was re­leased af­ter the team learned he tried to in­tim­i­date a sec­ond woman who ac­cused him of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

Asked by CBS be­fore the game what led him to end things, Pa­tri­ots coach Bill Belichick de­clined to com­ment.

Brown’s first tweet Sun­day seemed to in­di­cate that he will fight the Pa­tri­ots’ de­ci­sion to with­hold a $9 mil­lion sign­ing bonus. The first in­stall­ment is due Mon­day, and the Pa­tri­ots are at­tempt­ing to void the deal even though they played him in one game de­spite know­ing about two sep­a­rate ac­cu­sa­tions of sex­ual mis­con­duct.

Brown had also been guar­an­teed $29 mil­lion by the Raiders.

“Will not be play­ing in the (at)NFL any­more,” he wrote. “These own­ers can can­cel deals do what­ever they want at any­time we will see if the (at)NFLPA hold them ac­count­able sad they can just void guar­an­tees any­time go­ing on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !”

Brown also ap­peared to con­done threats made against the Sports Il­lus­trated writer whose ar­ti­cle in­cluded the al­le­ga­tions that led to Brown’s re­lease. Over a news ar­ti­cle de­scrib­ing the threats from some Pa­tri­ots fans, Brown wrote, “Sys­tem work­ing ef­fec­tively.”

That tweet also was deleted. A four-time All-Pro who caught 837 passes over nine sea­sons with the Steel­ers, Brown wore out his wel­come in Pitts­burgh af­ter he went miss­ing for two days be­fore the 2018 sea­son fi­nale. The Steel­ers traded him to the Raiders, who signed him 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 Raiders, quar­rel­ing with the coach and GM un­til they re­leased him. The Pa­tri­ots signed him only a few hours later, giv­ing him a one-year deal.

DAVID SAN­TI­AGO/MIAMI HER­ALD

WR An­to­nio Brown ap­peared to re­tire from the NFL in a tweet Sun­day.

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