With the off-field controversy still dogging new Patriots wide receiver, Antonio Brown, there is a growing belief that Brown may not make his debut this week for New England in their match-up at Miami against the Dolphins.
First, the latest development is a sexual assault civil lawsuit has been filed in Southern District of Florida court on Tuesday. That lawsuit alleges that Brown inappropriately touched, committed a lewd sex act and then eventually, raped a 28 year old personal trainer in three separate incidences from 2017-18.
That revelation was something that the NFL, and probably the Patriots, as well, did not know about when Brown was signed Monday after he was released by the Oakland Raiders this weekend.
Brown was at Patriots practice on Wednesday wearing jersey number #1 during the portion of the practice that was open to the media.
Patriots practice setlist: "A Star Is Born" (Jay-Z, with J. Cole); "Numb/Encore" (Jay-Z & Linkin Park). pic.twitter.com/J0LgXRx7y4
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 11, 2019
It’s unclear on Wednesday as to whether the NFL will go ahead and put Brown on the “Commissioner’s Exempt List,” where he is being paid but not on the New England roster or allowed to play, while they investigate.
The league has done that in the past with situations, including current Redskins and former Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, being put on it in 2014. That’s when the NFL and Texas authorities were investigating child abuse charges.
It is an important distinction that Brown has not been charged criminally, as of yet, in this situation.
Patriots coach Bill Belichick stonewalled the Miami media on Tuesday morning on their conference call, when they asked about Brown’s status for Sunday’s game. It should be noted that the conference call was prior to the information of the lawsuit being filed was made public later in the day.
Brown had a rocky relationship with the Steelers and specifically, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, at the end of his career in Pittsburgh. So, the team chose to trade him in the offseason to the Raiders for 3rd and 5th round selections in this past April’s draft.
Brown created his own personal soap opera in Oakland, when he refused to practice and participate in preseason games for the Raiders, because he wanted to wear an outdated helmet that’s no longer allowed by the NFL. The Raiders ended up formally fining Brown for having missed practices and team meetings, as a prelude to potentially suspending or releasing the former three time All-Pro without having to pay Brown any of his guaranteed money.
Brown then reportedly had an angry confrontation last Wednesday with Oakland GM Mike Mayock, where he was alleged to have threatened him physically before being restrained. At that point, Oakland decided to void the guarantees on his contract and then cut him on Saturday.
That’s when, the Patriots swooped in signing Brown on a one-year deal with a smaller guarantee, but the possibility with incentives to make up to $15 million this season.
New England blew out Brown’s former team, the Steelers Sunday night 33 – 3 and they are overwhelming 19 Point favorites as of Wednesday afternoon to defeat the Dolphins Sunday
However, Miami has won six of the last seven meetings at Hard Rock Stadium, including their thrilling double lateral “Miami Miracle” play that RB Kenyan Drake scored on, on the last play of the game last December.
Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine
The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.
Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:
Tua Tagovailoa measured at 6-0, 217 pounds at the NFL combine today. Left throwing hand at 10”
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) February 24, 2020
In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.
However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.
As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan
He came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.
Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.
In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.
As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.
Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.
It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.
Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday
Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.
The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:
We'd like to officially introduce you to our new HC, Karl Dorrell.
— Colorado Buffaloes Football (@CUBuffsFootball) February 23, 2020
The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.
Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.
Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.
“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.”
The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.
Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.
Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.
Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.
Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.