Antonio Brown released by New England Patriots after just one game

Antonio Brown playing for New England Patriots
Antonio Brown was with the New England Patriots for less than two weeks

The New England Patriots have released wide receiver Antonio Brown after just one game for the franchise.

Brown, 31, signed a one-year deal with the Patriots on 7 September worth a reported £12.2m ($15m) including a £7.3m ($9m) signing bonus.

He scored a touchdown in his only appearance for the Patriots against the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

"We feel that it is best to move in a different direction at this time," read a Patriots statement.external-link

Brown was accused of rape by his former personal trainer earlier this month, an accusation which he denies.

Britney Taylor, who decided to forgo anonymity, said Brown sexually assaulted her on three occasions, according to a civil lawsuit she filed.

Brown's lawyer, Darren Heitner, this week deniedexternal-link further allegations published in American magazine Sports Illustrated.

Before news of his departure had been confirmed, Brown posted a message on Twitter thanking the Patriots for the opportunity to play for them.

Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on Twitter:external-link "It's unfortunate things didn't work out with the Patriots. But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL.

"He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon."

Earlier on Friday, Patriots coach Bill Belichick cut a news conference short following repeated questioning about Brown.

"We take all the situations with our team very seriously," he said. "There are some things we are looking into but I'm not going to have any comment on the off-the-field situations."

Asked if he expected Brown to play on Sunday, he added "he's on our roster," before walking out when more questions about the wide receiver followed.

Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders on 7 September - just hours before joining the Patriots.

He had been fined the previous day following a confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and departed having never played a competitive game for the franchise.

He became one of the NFL's highest-paid wide receivers when he joined Oakland from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, signing a three-year deal worth more than $50m (£41m) per season.

Brown has been one of the league's top wide receivers since being drafted by the Steelers in 2010, having recorded over 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last six seasons and seven of his nine years in the league.

He has also reached double figures for touchdowns on four occasions and has career regular-season totals of 841 catches for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns.

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