If we're meant to believe it, Patriots owner Robert Kraft never would've signed off on the addition of Antonio Brown if he'd had any inkling of the accusations levied against the receiver. He told NFL insider Ian Rapoport as much on Sunday morning.
Then, the team he owns, the New England Patriots, proceeded to not only play Brown on Sunday, but made him a focal point of their offense while dismantling Miami, doubling up Julian Edelman's touches with plays designed for AB.
It's tough not to feel as if Kraft was performing a bit of lip service to clear his own conscience on Sunday, using NFL Network's Ian Rapoport as a mouthpiece, especially since none of the team's actions showed any trepidation about using Brown's talents.
Of course, then another Monday morning bombshell dropped. In a masterstroke of reporting by Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko, another allegation of sexual misconduct against Brown was levied, this time by an artist employed to paint a mural in his mansion who found him directly behind her, with only a small towel covering his genitalia, on Day 2 of her employment. After she fended off his advances, she never heard from Brown again, and the high-profile project remains incomplete.
That's not all that's covered in the catch-all piece, of course. Stories of abuse, bad behavior, and outright disrespect come in all forms, from a chef and trainer who were stiffed on unpaid wages after sudden, non-amicable splits, to a doctor who agreed to an exclusive relationship with Brown even after the patient...took extra care to fart repeatedly in his face during a pre-screening.
Of course, it wasn't long before the nation's most self-centered fanbase dreamed up another reason they'd been "railroaded".
But perhaps, as with all Patriots scandals, it would be nice for contrition to be shown in any form before moving onto determining exactly why and how this is another example of why the league "hates" their six-time champion and marquee dynastic franchise.
And perhaps we could see, for once, a statement that adequately encapsulates the scope of the situation from Mr. Kraft? If the self-effacing balloon he floated on Sunday morning really is true, and he never would've approved the signing of Brown in the first place if he'd known of the allegations sooner, then what happens now? Not only has he now been informed of the initial allegations, but he's now been presented with plenty more concrete examples of malfeasance.
Perhaps the Barstool-ification of what should be the league's proudest franchise will continue unabated, while Tom Brady repeatedly declines comment on a man he invited into his family home only a week prior. If Kraft is a man of his word, he'll cut loose the most unnecessary part of an already-elite offensive unit that was ticketed for national domination long before he arrived.
But since this is New England, I expect more innovation in the art of self-service before anything tangible is done.