Report: Antonio Brown's Grievance Against Patriots Has Not Yet Been Scheduled
One case the New England Patriots still have to resolve from last season is Antonio Brown's unpaid signing bonus. The former All-Pro receiver filed a grievance against the Patriots back in September after the team refused to pay him his $10 million signing bonus. But the hearing for that has not yet taken place.
While the hope was that the grievance would be done already and the Patriots would use the $9 million from winning the case to spend this offseason, those hopes have been diminished up until this point. On top of that, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported this week that Brown's grievance against the Raiders is scheduled for May, but the grievance against New England has not yet been scheduled.
There is also no timetable as to when the grievance will be scheduled for. One has to think that it will not take place until after Brown's grievance against Las Vegas, since that situation has more money involved.
Seeing that the Patriots are projected to only have $29 million to spend this offseason (according to Boston Sports Journal's Miguel Benzan), the six-time Super Bowl champions could have surely made use of the extra money in the event that they won the grievance. It's also worth noting that Brown left behind a $4.5 million cap hit in dead money after his release, which will count towards their available cap space this offseason.
But according to ESPN's Dan Graziano, Brown has a strong chance of winning his case against New England. Here was Graziano wrote about the situation back in October:
"They haven't technically paid it yet, and New England will likely argue that it shouldn't have to pay him because of a "representation warranty clause" that claims breach of contract since Brown didn't disclose a situation that would have prevented him from continued availability. That situation would be the civil suit in which his former trainer accused Brown of rape.
"Brown and his attorneys will argue a civil suit is not likely to render a player unavailable to play football, that the Patriots could not reasonably assume said suit would result in a suspension and that they cut him only after it was revealed he sent intimidating text messages to a different woman whose accusations surfaced after he'd already played a game for the team.
"Brown will argue the Patriots' reason for cutting him appears to have been those text messages (since they didn't cut him after learning of the civil suit and, in fact, allowed him to play for them), and that the conduct occurred after the team signed him. Therefore, it wouldn't fall under a representation warranty clause, because it wasn't a pre-existing situation at the time of his signing."
Graziano labeled Brown's chances of winning the grievance as "strong." So, when the hearing does take place, there is a strong chance the Patriots will have to pay up.
New England also has a grievance against Aaron Hernandez's estate, which can be worth up to $3.25 million. They also have smaller ones against David Parry ($179,200) and Cole Croston ($163,200). The timetables on those are also still unknown.