Report: Bill Belichick ‘didn’t consult anybody’ before signing Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown’s tumultuous tenure with the New England Patriots lasted a scant 11 days, and speculation is now surfacing that Bill Belichick did not seek the counsel of anyone else within the organization before bringing in the mercurial wide receiver.
During his podcast this week, Ryen Russillo of The Ringer relayed the belief in NFL circles that Belichick dealt solely with Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, before signing Brown to a one-year deal.
It merits noting that Belichick and Rosenhaus have enjoyed a longstanding and mutually beneficial professional relationship over the years, so the notion that the Patriots head coach felt comfortable going it alone while dealing with the agent is not that surprising.
That said, Belichick declining to solicit the advice of others within the Patriots power structure before making a decision clearly rife with risk given Brown’s myriad red flags certainly raises questions.
The fact that Belichick signed Brown to a one-year, $15 million contract with $9 million guaranteed has put the Patriots in a precarious position as well.
“Apparently Bill didn’t talk to anybody else about how he structured the deal and treated Brown like he was just a normal guy who was a high-profile free agent,” Russillo said, as transcribed by NBC Sports Boston. “So instead of doing a roster bonus — let’s just call it $750,000, or $1 million a week when you’re on the 46-man (roster) and ready to go to make sure you’re invested in this whole thing — that’s how it should have been treated.
“And other people around the league were like, ‘Man, that’s a really weird way of doing this,’ and that’s apparently what Bill just did. Bill got with Drew, trusted Drew and just went ahead and gave him this deal.”
The Patriots ultimately decided to cut Brown loose after he was accused last week of sending harassing and threatening texts to a reported victim of sexual misconduct. The wideout is expected to file a grievance against the Patriots in an effort to recoup his 2019 salary.
In other words, the Patriots have not quite yet completely extricated themselves from the Brown saga.