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Antonio Brown Contract Language Gives Patriots a Clear Out

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15:  Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Oakland Raiders warms up before the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown's NFL journey became further clouded by serious and horrifying accusations on Tuesday night. Brown was accused of rape and sexual assault by a woman who he employed as his personal trainer in 2017 and 2018, in a case filed in federal court.

If these accusations are determined to be truthful, New England might actually have a way out of Brown's contract that won't handicap them financially. It turns out that, written into the contract's lining, the team can determine that if anything AB does "undermines the public's respect for the club", which this certainly would, the guaranteed money he desires will be "null and void."

It goes without saying that both the actions described in the lawsuit and Brown potentially not informing either the Patriots or Oakland Raiders of this incident would theoretically undermine respect for his team and the league.

Even if he escapes league discipline, the team voiding his guaranteed money could prompt another boisterous exit, as we saw what happened the last time his guarantees were voided.

Bill Belichick is notoriously ruthless and unemotional when to comes to personnel moves, so suffice to say that jettisoning Brown if he becomes too much to handle remains a distinct (and low-risk) possibility.