The New England Patriots have declined to pay their former wide receiver, Antonio Brown, the first installment of his $9 million signing bonus.
The embattled receiver who spent only 11 days on New England’s roster before being cut last week, was due a $5 million installment of that money on Monday. The Patriots, however, did not pay it.
The dispute comes down to whether Brown committed a “forfeitable breach” of contract under the labor deal. For example, as Pro Football Talk explains, the Patriots would have to make the case that Brown commited a forfeitable breach by not making the Patriots aware of the imminent rape and sexual misconduct accusations that were headed his way. The Patriots contend that they would not have signed Brown if they knew those allegations were coming.
Of course, one would have to prove that Brown knew of those charges before he signed with the Patriots. Regardless, though, that type of case is what the Patriots would have to prove in order to prove Brown committed a forfeitable breach which would justify withholding the signing bonus.
“Brown undoubtedly will file a grievance aimed at getting the $9 million, along with the balance of his $1 million guaranteed salary,” Pro Football Talk reports.
Brown’s minimum pay from the Patriots will be $283,333.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn