NFL athlete Antonio Brown is seeking grievance compensation from both the Oakland Raiders and the New England Patriots.
Brown’s claim against the Raiders stems from an early release from the team. Brown claims he is entitled to certain contractual-based compensation, such as: first weeks pay, a signing bonus, and his salary from the contract signed in March. He is seeking approximately $30 million from the Raiders.
Brown’s claim against the Patriots also stems from an early release, after playing in only one game with the team. Brown claims he is entitled to his signing bonus, and he is seeking approximately $10 million from the Patriots. The Patriots claim Brown breached his contract, and therefore, they are not obligated to pay him.
The issue with the Patriots and Brown surfaced after Brown was accused of sexual misconduct and assault. A woman who had previously worked with Brown (as his trainer) has now accused him of sexual assault. Another woman (who was hired to paint in Brown’s home) accused him of approaching her in the nude.
Days after the information about the misconduct came out, Brown supposedly sent threatening text messages. The Patriots felt that those accusations of misconduct, combined with the text messages, were grounds for cutting Brown from the team.
In most NFL contracts, there is a behavior clause. Each team may have different variations of this clause, but all basically say the same thing. One example contract reads, “If a player has engaged in personal conduct reasonably judged by the Club to adversely affect or reflect on the Club, then the Club may terminate this contract.” The NFL also has the option of adding Brown to the commissioner’s “exempt list,” which would ultimately prevent Brown from playing.
The commissioner does not have to wait until the end of any court proceedings involving Brown to make that decision. But as of right now, Brown is a free agent.