The Giants left for London Thursday night without placekicker Josh Brown in the wake of the release Wednesday of documents shedding additional light on his history of domestic violence.
The team issued a statement shortly before leaving for Sunday’s game against the Rams, saying, “In light of the news reports regarding the documents released by the State of Washington [Wednesday], we think it makes sense to review this newly disclosed information and to revisit this issue following our trip to London.
“The Giants do not condone or excuse any form of domestic violence. Josh has acknowledged that he has issues in his life and has been working on these issues through therapy and counseling for a long period of time. We remain supportive of Josh and his efforts.”
Giants president and co-owner John Mara said Thursday on WFAN that Brown “admitted to us that he’s abused his wife in the past and I think what’s a little unclear is the extent of that.”
Brown was arrested in May 2015 and charged with fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
Mara said that when the team re-signed Brown in April it was comfortable with its decision, but he added, “Obviously there’s been some new information that has come to light over the past day.”
He said he believed Brown had attempted to be honest with the team and has made a good-faith effort to reform himself, but he made it clear that does not guarantee the kicker’s future with the team and that he was “disturbed” by Brown’s actions.
“We haven’t made a decision yet on his future, but I think the NFL also will have something to say about that,” Mara said, later adding, “I can’t answer right now what the future holds for him. I think we need to gather some more information and then try to make as intelligent a decision as we can.”
Mara said one possibility for Brown is the NFL’s “exempt/commissioner’s list” that the Vikings used for Adrian Peterson in 2014 after he was indicted for child abuse.
Brown, 37, was suspended for the first game of this season for violating the NFL’s domestic violence policy, then played in the next five.
That was before the release of journal entries on Wednesday night in which he admitted to physical and emotional abuse of his wife, Molly, before the arrest. The charges against Brown were dropped less than a week after the arrest.
“I have physically, mentally, emotionally and verbally been a repulsive man,” Brown wrote in one of his journal entries, which was obtained by Newsday. “I have abused my wife.”
He wrote in a document called “Contract for Change,” an agreement facilitated by a Seattle-based marriage counselor he and Molly were seeing in 2013, that he had “disregarded my step son’s (sic) feelings and they have witnessed me abusing their mother.” Molly Brown has two sons from a previous marriage.
The document, dated March 28, 2013, also cited Brown admitting he had psychologically manipulated her during their marriage.
“I have controlled her my [sic] making her feel less human than me, and manipulated her with money. I have constantly made her feel as if she is not good enough for me to hide my own insecurities and self hate.”
Brown’s journals, as well as emails, were turned over to police in King County by Molly Brown after Josh Brown was arrested. The arrest led to Brown’s suspension, although the NFL said it was hampered in its investigation because Molly Brown was unwilling to talk to league officials looking into the arrest. The NFL cited her unwillingness to cooperate as the biggest reason for not suspending Brown more than one game.
The NFL released a statement on Thursday insisting it had not previously been aware of the documents released Wednesday, and said it would re-open its investigation.
“NFL investigators made repeated attempts — both orally and in writing — to obtain any and all evidence and relevant information in this case from the King County Sheriff’s Office,” the statement read. “Each of those requests was denied and the Sheriff’s Office declined to provide any of the requested information, which ultimately limited our ability to fully investigate this matter. We concluded our own investigation, more than a year after the initial incident, based on the facts and evidence available to us at the time and after making exhaustive attempts to obtain information in a timely fashion. It is unfortunate that we did not have the benefit or knowledge of these materials at the time.
“In light of the release of these documents [Wednesday], we will thoroughly review the additional information and determine next steps in the context of the NFL Personal Conduct Policy.”
Under the league’s policy, cases involving domestic violence can be reconsidered if there is additional information provided after a suspension has been handed down.
A spokeswoman for the King County District Court told Newsday Thursday that any information shared publicly before the completion of an investigation would have to come from the prosecutor.
According to the police documents, Det. Robin L. Ostrum of the King County Sheriff’s Office wrote that Molly Brown told her she and Josh had gotten into a dispute at the 2016 Pro Bowl in Hawaii in January. One night, according to Ostrum’s written report, Josh had pounded on Molly’s door (the two were staying in separate rooms) and after Molly refused to let him in, she called security. Ostrum wrote that Molly and her three children were taken to another hotel by NFL security. Josh and Molly Brown have a young daughter together.
An NFL source told Newsday Thursday that Molly Brown had made NFL security aware of the incident but that she changed rooms, not hotels.
Mara said the Giants were aware of the Pro Bowl incident when they re-signed Brown.
Ostrum recommended on Sept. 14 that two counts of fourth-degree domestic violence be brought against Brown. It is uncertain whether those charges will be pursued. Under Washington law, cases involving domestic violence can be re-opened if there is sufficient evidence.
Teammates generally were supportive when asked about Brown after Thursday’s practice, in which Brown participated.
“I know him personally; he’s like a brother,” cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie said. “We have Bible study here and he’s kind of like a leader of that group. It’s kind of hurtful what he’s going through but I’m definitely here for him. He’s helped me grow a lot, just from a being a man off the field . . . I’m definitely here if he needs a shoulder or a hug or just a talk.”
Mara and coach Ben McAdoo both said they had spoken to Brown on Thursday.
The NFL Network reported Thursday night that former Bear Robbie Gould, the most accomplished veteran on the market, would be Brown’s replacement Sunday and perhaps beyond.