Jets-Patriots Trade Football

Patriots  receiver Demaryius Thomas, right, has been traded to the New York Jets for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick.

New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown has been accused of rape by a former trainer.

Britney Taylor says Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday in the Southern District of Florida.

Brown has denied the allegations. Darren Heitner, a lawyer representing Brown, says it was "a consensual personal relationship."

The New York Times first reported about the lawsuit.

Messages left seeking comment from the Patriots and the NFL were not immediately returned.

Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders last week after clashing with the team throughout training camp. He agreed to a contract with New England on Saturday but has yet to play for the Patriots.

Earlier in the day, Bill Belichick said he's unconcerned about Brown's past, and he's even less concerned about anyone outside the Patriots organization who questions whether the receiver can fit into New England's system without being disruptive.

That's because the Super Bowl-winning coach remembers hearing similar sentiments about another outspoken receiver he traded for more than a decade ago.

"It's the same thing you said about Randy Moss when we brought him in," Belichick said.

Moss, who clashed with the coaching staffs in both Minnesota and Oakland before being shipped to New England in 2007, flourished with the Patriots. Moss, who was Tom Brady's chief deep threat that season, had a career-high 23 touchdown receptions and 1,493 receiving yards on his way to earning All-Pro honors for the fourth and final time in his career.

Brown is coming off his sixth consecutive 1,000-yard season, but has yet to be on a Super Bowl-winning team.

Brown was originally traded from Pittsburgh to Oakland in the offseason. But a bizarre foot injury, fight with the NFL over his helmet, skipped practices, multiple fines, a run-in with general manager Mike Mayock and odd social media posts ultimately led to the decision to release him.

Brown agreed to a deal with New England just hours after being granted his wish to be released by Oakland on Saturday.

How much the Patriots plan to use him this week when they visit division foe Miami remains to be seen.

"We think he'll help our team, but until we start working with him ... and see exactly how everything fits together and what we can develop we'll just have to see how that goes," Belichick said.

While New England's players have yet to practice this week and officially had Tuesday off, Belichick said they were "going through information with (Brown) like we would any new player."

A big part of that acclimation process will be spending time with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who like Belichick, has witnessed Brown's ability to exploit defenses as a member of the Steelers.

But McDaniels was adamant that he won't change anything about his play-calling approach this week just to get Brown involved.

"We'll see how it goes as we go forward, but certainly we've always had the same concept in terms of our run game, pass game, our offense in general," McDaniels said.

"We're going to try to throw it where we're supposed to throw it and we don't try to force the ball anywhere or to anybody because that's not necessarily the way we do it."

In the wake of adding Brown, the Patriots traded away another reclamation project to a division rival.

The New York Jets have acquired wide receiver Demaryius Thomas for a 2021 sixth-round draft pick, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal Tuesday.

The first trade between the AFC East rivals since Belichick took over as the Patriots' coach in 2000 capped a busy day for the Jets, who also signed kicker Sam Ficken and waived Kaare Vedvik. The NFL also announced that second-year defensive lineman Nathan Shepherd was suspended six games for violating the league's policy on performance-enhancers.

The last trade between the teams was actually when Belichick left the Jets for the Patriots, and New York got a first-round pick.

The 31-year-old Thomas gives the Jets' receiving group an immediate boost, joining Robby Anderson, Quincy Enunwa and Jamison Crowder. The move also comes a day after Coach Adam Gase made it clear he wasn't pleased with his receivers' overall performance in a 17-16 season-opening loss to Buffalo.

Crowder had 14 catches for 99 yards as Sam Darnold used him often for short-yardage plays, but Anderson (three catches for 23 yards) and Enunwa (one for minus-4) combined for just four receptions.

Thomas and Gase were together in Denver from 2010-14, when Gase was the wide receivers coach and later the Broncos' offensive coordinator. Thomas was also part of the Broncos' Super Bowl-winning team with Peyton Manning in February 2016.

Thomas has 688 receptions for 9,330 yards and 62 touchdowns. He played for the Broncos from 2010 until being traded to Houston last October for a seventh-round draft pick. He tore his Achilles late last season, was released by the Texans in February and signed with the Patriots in April.

Thomas also faced some legal issues in the offseason when he pleaded guilty in March to careless driving in a February crash in downtown Denver. As part of the plea deal, Thomas' attorneys said prosecutors dismissed a felony vehicular assault charge. Thomas was fined $300, ordered to complete 50 hours of community service and was placed on supervised probation for one year.

The receiver spent most of the summer on New England's physically unable to perform list while continuing to recover from his Achilles injury. Thomas was activated on Aug. 20 and had seven catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns in the preseason finale against the Giants.

But, he was inactive for the Patriots' first regular-season game of the season Sunday night against Pittsburgh with a hamstring issue. His role with New England was also uncertain because of Brown's arrival.


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