Active on social media this week, Brown’s recent Instagram posts reveal a player facing personal challenges for the first time in his career, battling against the idea the baggage he comes with as an off-the-field distraction may out-weigh his obvious on-field talents.
“Lord knows it’s a cold game,” Brown wrote Wednesday.
Later, Brown posted the widely-circulated Wolverine meme, showing the popular Marvel character holding a photo of Antonio Brown and Josh McDaniel.
Prior to New England’s signing of Brown this season following his release from Oakland, Patriots head coach Bill Belichick reportedly didn’t have the franchise’s blessing at the time of the team’s initial, according to a report from The Ringer’s Ryen Russillo, who said he was all-in on signing the troubled wideout.
“From what I’ve heard, Belichick just did this completely on his own,” Russillo said on The Ryen Russillo Podcast last month. “When Brown was (cut by the Raiders), Drew Rosenhaus calls Bill (and says), ‘Let’s figure this out,’ and Bill’s like, ‘Done.’ But Belichick didn’t consult anybody else and just did it.”
After the Patriots released Brown, Belichick stared down CBS reporter Dana Jacobsen after a question concerning Brown and has refused to comment on his release from the franchise. The Patriots decided to cut Brown last month after several threatening text messages surfaced toward his accuser.
Patriots owner Robert Kraft reportedly became “enraged” and immediately made the decision to move on from his latest acquisition, who scored a touchdown in his only game with the franchise last month month during a win at Miami.
The Athletic‘s Jeff Howe reported Kraft, who was on a business trip on the day Sports Illustrated leaked the messages, blew his top and made the decision to cut Brown.
“Kraft and Belichick spoke and decided together to officially release Brown just 11 days after the Patriots signed the controversial star receiver, according to sources,” Howe wrote in an article published on Sept. 20.
The Patriots stood by Brown as allegations arose that he had played a role in sexual misconduct with a former personal trainer he met during his college days at Central Michigan. These allegations came out one week after New England signed him hours after the Oakland Raiders released him for a slew of episodes including a public spat with general manager Mike Mayock, refusal to wear a league mandated helmet and being late for a team meeting.