Robert Kraft was right, and many, many, many New England Patriots fans who vocally valued winning over rooting for an entirely respectable group of players were not.
Cutting Antonio Brown in September was the right move. The talented but troubled wide receiver was not going to help the Patriots win a Super Bowl. If Brown hadn’t sent texts intimidating a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct — a move that eventually led to his release — then this week proved that something else would have occurred before Brown could actually help the Patriots win it all.
Brown turned himself in Thursday night after police issued a warrant for his arrest. He faces charges of burglary with battery (a felony), burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief stemming from an incident involving a moving truck driver. Brown was granted $110,000 bail and will be monitored by GPS, must release his passport and guns, undergo drug and alcohol testing and receive a mental health evaluation.
Even the most ardent Brown supporters must now admit there was no way this guy was going to last the entire season with the Patriots in his current mental state.
So, they cut bait one game into Brown’s tenure. He finished the season with four catches for 56 yards with a touchdown. That one receiving touchdown was good enough to tie Brown for fifth-most on the team in 2019. He undoubtedly would have been more helpful than Phillip Dorsett, Jakobi Meyers, Josh Gordon, Mohamed Sanu or N’Keal Harry.
But one way or another, it was never going to last. Even if Brown had remained on his best behavior, then the NFL likely was going to place him on their commissioner’s exempt list. It seems the league’s investigation into multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against Brown still is unresolved.
There is no blaming the NFL, the media or the Patriots for Brown’s release. This was all Brown’s doing, and at this point, unless he does seek mental help, then it’s entirely possible he’ll never play another snap in the NFL.
The Patriots were never wrong to cut Brown. This latest incident simply confirms they made the right decision.
Thumbnail photo via Jasen Vinlove/USA TODAY Sports Images