It appears the Patriots will in fact need to pay Antonio Brown his $9 million signing bonus.
According to Yahoo Sports' Charles Robinson, after speaking with five sources, who all have extensive experience with the overlap between NFL contracts and the league’s collective-bargaining agreement, the team will likely have to pay Brown his $9 million.
The group said it won't likely come until late in 2020 following a long arbitration grievance that could ultimately reveal Brown's camp knew about the threatened sexual assault civil lawsuit prior to signing with the Patriots.
“[New England] fighting to keep that signing bonus now is either a gross misunderstanding of [the CBA’s] rules on voiding signing bonuses or it’s just out of spite," one source told Robinson. "I can’t believe they don’t understand the signing bonus voids in the CBA. There’s just no way. This is just spitefulness. They’re fighting [Brown] completely out of the anger and embarrassment in ownership.”
Click here to read the full piece, which goes in-depth on the subject. It's conclusion is the Patriots will likely be on the hook for all of Brown's $9 million signing bonus.
Brown officially was released from the Patriots last Friday.