Enjoy The AB Circus, Hood

You sign Antonio Brown, you get Antonio Brown. All of him.

Jim Rome
September 11, 2019 - 10:08 am
Bill Belichick

USA Today


For their part, the New England Patriots released the following statement: "We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives. We take these allegations very seriously. Under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place."

If that sounds like the Patriots are trying to pass the buck, it's because they sure would like to. But that's not how it works. 

The league is investigating the case, but this is the New England Patriots problem now.

Notice how my first take started and how every report about this news reads: New England Patriots receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of sexual assault.

Because in all of the news reports about this, he’s listed as New England Patriots wide receiver. They signed him. They brought him in. He is officially on their books. His problems are their problems now.

They own this. You sign Antonio Brown, you get Antonio Brown. All of him.

And so now the questions begin:

Did they not know about this sexual assault lawsuit?

And if that’s not the case, how bad do they look now?

Or did they know about it and ask Brown about it and were okay with how he answered?

Or did they know about it and just not care?

I’m not sure there are any great answers for the Patriots here. In fact, there really are zero good answers and a lot of questions.

If they didn't know, it's horrible timing and they look like complete idiots. 

Just yesterday, Bill Belichick was talking about Brown and when he was asked about what happened in Pittsburgh and Oakland, he said: "Well, I wasn't in either one of those places so I really can't comment on what did or didn't happen there."

And then when further asked about whether Brown will fit in, Belichick responded: "It's the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in."

Pretty terrible look to be saying this is the same thing you people said when I brought in Randy Moss and then a few hours later have a federal lawsuit alleging three incidents of sexual assault drop.

I could be missing something, but I don’t recall Moss being hit with a federal lawsuit of sexual assault within hours of him arriving in New England.

You’re all in on Antonio Brown. To paraphrase Tom Brady, you're 100 percent in. 1000 percent in. You're one million percent in on Antonio Brown. 

I mean, isn't the story that Brady offered to let Brown stay at his house? You don't get more in on a guy than having him bunk at your place. 

Even if the Patriots didn’t know about the incidents alleged in the lawsuit, you knew a lot of other things about him – like him driving more than 100 miles per hour in a 45 and throwing furniture off the balcony of a 14-story building.

Or the allegation of Brown shoving the mother of one of his children.

Or the report that he threatened to punch a fellow employee of another NFL team just a few days ago.

If any of those incidents don’t make you think twice and inspire you to do some serious digging on a guy you’re about to sign, then that’s on you. And if you go ahead and sign him anyway, even if you don’t find the allegations of sexual assault, you’re inheriting every problem that comes with him afterwards.

You’ve adopted him, for better or for worse. You don’t get to just take the receptions and the touchdowns and ignore all the other stuff.  

I’m never going to say that you shouldn’t be surprised when someone is accused of sexual assault, because that is completely different than excessive speeding or throwing furniture or threatening to punch a general manager.

But honestly, can the Patriots really claim they’re surprised by this? Because that’s what Adam Schefter reported, that the Patriots were “caught by surprise.”

Then again, they did claim they were “duped” by Aaron Hernandez and talked about what a great guy he was.

And the guy who couldn’t wait to tell everyone about how badly he was “duped” by Aaron Hernandez was duping the world by going to see sex workers in a strip mall on the day of the AFC Championship game.

Even that claim that “under no circumstances does this organization condone sexual violence or assault” is a little weird. Didn’t they trade for Albert Haynesworth when he was facing a sexual assault charge that he later pled no contest to?

If the Patriots are trying to claim that they’re good judges of character, they better stop.

Just be honest. You signed Antonio Brown for the same reason you do anything, you thought he could help you win. And you hoped he wouldn’t hurt you too much. You hoped the good would outweight the bad.

The Patriots don’t get a pass on this one. It’s not good enough to just throw your hands up and say, we’re surprised by it. Because you can’t be. When you sign someone with Antonio Brown’s recent track record, you cannot be surprised when he adds to it, no matter how heinous and hideous the latest incident is.