While Bill Belichick deferred to the team's statement on Antonio Brown and avoided any questions regarding the just-signed receiver and the new allegations against him, the coach focused on the Dolphins and pointed out the talented players and former Patriots coaches now in Miami to kick off his press conference.
According a federal lawsuit filed in the Southern District of Florida on Tuesday, Brown allegedly sexually assaulted and raped a woman named Britney Taylor, a gymnast Brown met while attending Central Michigan together.
Brown, 31, has not been charged with any crime and denies the accusations.
While Brown has denied the allegations and plans to countersue for civil extortion, it's yet another blemish on Brown as he attempts to revive his career with the Patriots. "Brown in a consensual personal relationship", Heitner claims.
Yet, in the first images from Brown's time at Patriots practice, it was clear that he wasn't wearing the Xenith Shadow or even the helmet he wore in preseason warmups with Oakland.
"As a rape victim of Antonio Brown, deciding to speak out has been an incredibly hard decision", her statement reads. "Some have taken me up on it and others haven't". Taylor will meet with the National Football League next week, according to ESPN.
"We are aware of the civil lawsuit that was filed earlier today against Antonio Brown, as well as the response by Antonio's representatives", the Patriots said in a statement. "We're taking it very seriously". Under no circumstance does this organization condone sexual violence or assault. The league has informed us that they will be investigating. "We will have no further comment while that investigation takes place". All three were said to have occurred when Brown was a Steelers wide receiver, according to the lawsuit. Later that month, Brown "began masturbating near her without her knowledge and ejaculated on her back" and then bragged about the incident in profane emails attached to the lawsuit. The suit includes what it says are text messages from Brown bragging about the second assault. When he refused, Heitner explained that's when the two cut ties.
"It may help Brown to argue that if this was a truthful, a fully truthful claim, that she would have alerted law enforcement".
"New England found out about it (Tuesday night)".
This does not mean that the Patriots are allowing Brown to wear a prohibited helmet, though.
Brown and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on the other hand, had reason to believe that something was in the works.
He agreed to a deal with the defending Super Bowl champions hours after the Raiders granted his request and let him go.