The Giants announced the release of kicker Josh Brown, who previously served a one-game suspension from the NFL for violating its personal conduct policy, on Tuesday. The suspension stemmed from an arrest for domestic violence and is likely the reason for his release, after more details about the case were revealed earlier this month.
Brown signed a new two-year, $4 million deal with the Giants in April. After his suspension was announced and the reasons behind it came to light, the team said it was aware of the arrest when they came to terms with Brown on his new contract.
In an incident report connected to Brown’s arrest, his ex-wife, Molly Brown, alleged over 20 different incidents of violence against her were perpetrated by Brown. Brown was arrested in May 2015 and charged with assaulting Molly Brown. The charges were dropped five days after his arrest.
Because of the dropped charges, he faced minimal punishment from the NFL, but new police documents show Brown admitted to the abuse and could result in further punishment from the league.
"I made selfish decisions to use and abuse women starting at the age of 7 ... I objectified women and never really worried about the pain and hurt I caused them," Brown wrote in a letter to friends in 2014 acquired by NJ.com. “My ability to connect emotionally to other people was zero. My empathy levels were zero. Because I never handled these underlying issues I became an abuser and hurt [my wife] physically, emotionally and verbally. I viewed myself as God basically and she was my slave."
Brown made similar admissions to a counselor in 2013.
In July 2015, Brown was arrested again for violating a temporary protective order Molly Brown had filed against him that prohibited him from coming within 500 feet of her residence. Brown drove past her home as she was pulling out of the driveway. Violating a temporary protective order is a misdemeanor, and though Brown was arrested, charges were not filed.
The NFL, at the Giants’ request, placed Brown on the exempt/commissioner’s permission list, on the day after the the additional police documents detailing Brown’s history of domestic violence against his former wife were released.
On the day he was released, Brown released a statement via ESPN’s Adam Schefter to clarify that he had “never struck” his former wife and otherwise dodging personal responsibility for perpetrating domestic violence against her. The Giants’ announcement that the team had parted ways with Brown came approximately an hour later.
When Giants co-owner John Mara initially broke the team’s silence on Brown’s situation, he said the team was comfortable with its decision to re-sign Brown.
The Giants signed kicker Randy Bullock after Brown’s suspension was announced, but kept him for just one week and released him after Brown’s return.
On Thursday, after the new documents became public, the Giants released a statement saying that Brown would not travel to London with the team for Sunday morning’s game against the Los Angeles Rams. New York then signed kicker Robbie Gould, who flew to London to take over in Brown’s absence.
In the statement, the team reiterated its support for Brown, saying they did not condone domestic violence, but remained supportive of Brown nonetheless. Giants owner John Mara said during a radio appearance that Brown had admitted to the team that he had abused his former wife, but that the extent of the abuse was “a little unclear.”
On the day Brown was released, however, Mara changed his tune.
"We believed we did the right thing at every juncture in our relationship with Josh,” Mara said via a release regarding the decision to move on from Brown. “Our beliefs, our judgments were misguided. We accept that responsibility."
Despite defending the team’s decision to re-sign Brown after his arrest and the surrounding allegations, John Mara said when the one-game suspension was announced that if the team did choose to part ways with Josh Brown it would be for “football reasons.” It doesn’t appear that’s why the team will now move forward without Brown.