In the past month, Antonio Brown had a $30 million contract with the Oakland Raiders as well as a $15 million contract with the New England Patriots. So, how has AB only received a total of $158,333?
Let’s start first with his Raiders deal.
It is fair to say that Brown had a contentious relationship with the Raiders during the preseason. Brown was fined over an outburst at practice, and that fine allowed the Raiders to void Brown’s $30 million contract before the season even began. So, the $30 million is off the table for Brown. That part of the equation is pretty simple.
AB’s contract with the Patriots, however, is a little less straightforward.
Brown’s contract with the Patriots had four main components: (1) a guaranteed base salary of $1 million, (2) a guaranteed signing bonus of $9 million, (3) a non-guaranteed $500,000 in per-game roster bonuses paid for each game Brown was on the 46-man roster, and (4) $4.5 million in non-guaranteed performance incentives.
Since Brown only played with the team for one game, he was paid $158,333. According to the Boston Globe, he was set to receive the first installment of his signing bonus three days after the team released him.
The $5 million non-guaranteed compensation is not of much concern to Brown anymore, as it cannot be recovered after the Patriots dropped him. However, the other $10 million, which was supposed to be guaranteed to the wide receiver, has Brown up in arms.
Brown is planning on filing a grievance against the team to collect the full $10 million, and he will be represented by the NFL Players Association Union. Therefore, AB still has a chance to get paid $10 million from his deal with the Pats.
But as Sports Illustrated pointed out, the contract stipulated that if 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 the contract will be null and void. Consequently, when Brown files his grievance against the Patriots, he will need to prove his actions should not have voided his contract or his guarantees.
Whether AB can recover the $10 million promised to him is up to the NFL. For now, AB is walking away with only $158,333 in his pocket, just over 1% of what he thought was guaranteed to him.