As expected, Patriots didn't pay $5 million bonus to Antonio Brown on Monday

When the New England Patriots released Antonio Brown last Friday, it seemed unlikely that they would be paying the first installment of Brown’s $9 million signing bonus, which was due to be paid on Monday.

And when Brown took aim at Patriots team owner Robert Kraft in a now-deleted barrage of tweets Sunday morning, it basically guaranteed that Brown wouldn’t get that money.

Guess what? He didn’t.

Report: $5 million not paid

Were he still on the Patriots’ roster, Brown would have received $5 million on Monday, the amount of the first installment of his $9 million bonus.

But he was released, putting that money in doubt.

Citing a league source, Pro Football Talk reports that New England didn’t pay on or before the Monday deadline specified in Brown’s contract.

It’s expected the Brown will file a grievance and ask the NFL Players Association to fight for his money on his behalf, and for the Patriots to argue that Brown broke the terms of his contract and therefore isn’t obligated to honor the payment of bonus money.

9 PHOTOS
Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
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Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Jomal Wiltz (33) attempts to defend, during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots celebrates his first down catch during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Tom Brady #12 and Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots bump fists during the second quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown to practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, walks on the field near wide receiver Antonio Brown (1) as Brown works out during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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‘Disparagement’ clause will likely play role

As Yahoo NFL columnist Charles Robinson wrote on Sunday, the Patriots winning in a fight against Brown over the bonus money doesn’t seem to be cut-and-dried.

There were two things in Brown’s contract that would trigger a voiding of the language: standard NFL contract language which says a player must notify a team of any pending actionable issues against him prior to signing his deal; in this case, whether Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, knew Brown would be facing a federal lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and rape at the time he signed his contract.

There was also a “disparagement” clause included in Brown’s contract with the Patriots, which stated, “If at any time prior to the end of the 2019 League Year, [Brown]: … takes any action that materially undermines the public’s respect for, or is materially critical of, the Club, Player’s teammates or the Club’s ownership, coaches, management, operations or policies then, upon election of the Club, the guarantees set forth in this section 27 will be null and void, whether or not any such guarantee otherwise had been earned in accordance with the terms thereof.”

Robinson noted that it may be difficult for New England to win on the “actionable issue” argument since the team played him in a game, against the Miami Dolphins, after the lawsuit was filed.

9 PHOTOS
Antonio Brown with his Raiders teammates, Mike Mayock
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Antonio Brown with his Raiders teammates, Mike Mayock
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders talk on the sidelines during the first half of 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)
Oakland Raiders' Antonio Brown (84) and teammates gather before an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. (John Woods/The Canadian Press via AP)
Oakland Raiders wide receivers Keelan Doss, left, and Antonio Brown warm up during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Oakland Raiders talks with general manager Mike Mayock 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)
Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock, right, watches while players stretch as Antonio Brown (84) walks on the field during NFL football practice in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 of the Oakland Raiders high fives Benson Mayowa #91 during warm ups to the NFL preseason game at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15: Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) hugs Oakland Raiders gm Mike Mayock before the NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals on August 15, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, AZ - AUGUST 15: Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) and Oakland Raiders wide receiver J.J. Nelson (15) high five before the NFL preseason football game between the Oakland Raiders and the Arizona Cardinals on August 15, 2019 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Quarterback Derek Carr #4 (R) of the Oakland Raiders talks with wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 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)
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The team’s stronger argument might be with he disparagement clause and that he took “action that materially undermine[d] the image” of the franchise. That argument would be based on Brown sending group text messages to some of his lackeys, his attorney and the second woman who has publicly accused him of sexual impropriety.

Those text messages were sent while he was a member of the Patriots, after a Sports Illustrated story bring the second woman’s accusation to light.

In the texts, Brown commands the lackeys to look into the woman’s background and financial situation, saying she was broke; he included pictures of her children. The woman has not asked Brown for any money.

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