As free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown navigates what has been a turbulent offseason, he may need to find new representation.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has conditionally ended his relationship with his client until Brown seeks counsel, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
ESPN's Adam Schefter, who first reported the news, said that Rosenhaus wrote a letter to the NFL Players Association indicating that he would like to continue to work with Brown, but not until he seeks help. Schefter also reported Brown’s attorney, Darren Heitner, filed a motion to withdraw in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit of Florida in Miami-Dade County, and that the court granted Heitner’s request to withdraw from a landlord-tenant case against Brown.
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Brown, who last played in the NFL for the New England Patriots in Week 2, was released after multiple women came forward with allegations of rape and sexual assault. Sports Illustrated later uncovered Brown allegedly harassing one of the accusers. The NFL launched an investigation into the matter, and the league has yet to issue a ruling.
Brown’s often erratic behavior has been on public display, as he has often taken to his social media channels to air out criticisms against the NFL and former teams, former partners and Rosenhaus.
In an Instagram post from December 13, Brown’s face was edited onto on a drawing of a felled gladiator while an image of a smiling Rosenhaus looks on.
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Last week I wrote a post opening up telling people how I was feeling at the time. Man what a difference a week makes. I worked my entire life to earn the right to play in the National Football League. After putting it all on the line week after week and putting my body and my mind through some gruesome workouts, it was taken away from me. I’m hurt, I’m disappointed and I’m angry all at the same time. I feel abandoned by people who I trusted and they turned their backs on me and helped take away what I loved. As a man, I ain’t begging for nothing and I ain’t going to let people treat me any kind of way. I earned the right to play in the NFL! So why was it taken away? It’s been over 3 months and I haven’t heard from anyone. But y’all want me to beg to play!? I feel abandoned by a league I gave my all to. 14 weeks and it’s nothing. Put yourself in my shoes for a minute. You go to work everyday and one day the supervisor tells you to go home and they’ll call you and let you know when to come back. Looking at the big picture, I can clearly see where the problems are. Sometimes the people that’s supposed to fix them are the ones that’s stopping the progress. If a team calls, I’ll be ready and in shape but I’m not begging nobody for a job.
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Brown had worked out for the New Orleans Saints in December. After the team did not sign him, Brown posted a video on his Instagram page in which he called the session a “publicity stunt.”
Brown, 31, has had a tumultuous year. After forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, the Steelers traded him to the Oakland Raiders, where he signed a three-year, $50 million contract. Then, after Brown skipped multiple practices and meetings during training camp, in part as he recovered from burns to his feet after an accident during a cryotherapy session, general manager Mike Mayock issued several statements saying the team needed the receiver to be “all in.”
Brown also launched a battle against the NFL, seeking to wear a helmet that had been declared obsolete. His grievance was denied twice.
The Raiders later cut Brown before the season. The Patriots signed him in September and he appeared in just the one game, a 43-0 victory against the Dolphins.
Brown has played in the NFL 10 seasons and has caught 841 passes for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns.
Earlier this week, the Police Athletic League cut ties with Brown and returned a donation, citing an “irreparable rift” after Hollywood (Fla.) Police responded to a domestic dispute at Brown’s home in which he berated officers and used "very degrading language in front of his young children," according to public information officer Christian Lata.
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