Antonio Brown entered into settlement discussions in April, which included mediation in May, culminating in a deadline last Sunday night to sign a monetary agreement that would end the sexual assault claims against him. He chose not to sign it.
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— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 15, 2019
By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Britney Taylor's civil lawsuit against Antonio Brown didn't come out of nowhere for the Patriots wide receiver. According to a new report by ESPN's Jeff Darlington, Brown rejected a $2 million settlement offer after two mediation sessions going back several months.
Per Darlington, Brown and Taylor held two mediations, one of which was as far back as April. The other reportedly occurred in May. Brown then had until last Sunday night, one day after he agreed to a contract with the Patriots, to decline the settlement. He rejected it "around the same time" he signed with New England.
Taylor filed the lawsuit on Tuesday after Brown turned down the offer. She accuses the Patriots receiver of rape and sexual assault across three separate incidents in 2017 and 2018.
Brown denied the allegations and reportedly plans to countersue for civil extortion. Since he is only facing a civil suit and no criminal charges to this point, the NFL won't place him on the commissioner's exempt list and the Patriots will be free to play him. Per multiple reports, Brown will make his Patriots debut Sunday at the Miami Dolphins.
The league has opened its own investigation into the allegations and plans to meet with Taylor on Monday. Neither Brown nor any of his representatives are expected to be present at the initial meeting. Brown's attorney, Darren Heitner, tells Darlington he has not yet been in contact with the league over its investigation.
Brown's months-long discussion with Taylor invites questions of how much the Patriots knew about the case before signing him, or whether they knew at all. Agent Drew Rosenhaus said on ESPN this week that he and the receiver were aware of the possibility of a lawsuit for some time.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at [email protected].