Over the weekend, CNN reported that the NFL has suspended free agent Antonio Brown for eight games for “multiple violations of its personal conduct policy”. Brown is currently a free agent after being released from the New England Patriots for multiple accusations of sexual assault and rape after playing just one game with them in 2019, NBC Sports reported.
Brown was known as one of the best wide receivers in the game in the early 2010s. A seven-time pro bowler, two-time receiving yards leader, two-time NFL receptions leader and a member of the NFL 2010s all-decade team, he has been a key player for the Steelers for many years. Brown has played eight seasons with the Steelers and has totaled 11,263 receiving yards, 75 touchdowns and 841 receptions in his career.
Brown’s NFL career was going well, until the end of the 2018 season. Brown missed the Week 17 game in 2018 against the Bengals for an apparent argument with a teammate. He also missed several practices and team activities that week that led the Steelers to add him to the inactive list for the last game of the season, SB Nation reported.
The Steelers decided to trade Brown in the offseason to the Oakland Raiders. Brown was then released by the Raiders for an altercation with GM Mike Mayock over voided contact guarantees due to conduct detrimental to the team according to the Bleacher Report.
The New England Patriots ended up signing Brown right after his release from the Raiders. Right after his Patriots signing, news broke out of a woman filing a federal lawsuit over Antonio Brown. The woman’s name was Britney Taylor, and she apparently claimed that Brown sexually assaulted her in 2017 and raped her in 2018, USA Today reports. This resulted in the Patriots releasing Brown after one game played with them.
Brown’s off the field issues has caused him to walk away from the game, according to several tweets back in Nov. 2019 when he tweeted that he will be retiring from football.
Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up !
— AB (@AB84) September 22, 2019
Just over a week ago, Brown tweeted again that he is considering retiring over the unfair treatment that he has been receiving over the past year, tweeting “Is it time to walk away I done everything in the game?!!” He also tweeted “At this point the risk is greater than the reward thank you everyone who been part of this journey I sincerely thank you for everything! Life goes on 84!.”
Though according to Brown’s latest Instagram post, he is confident that he will find another team soon.
View this post on Instagram
I look forward to new beginnings. I want to be the best version of myself on and off the field, and I will do my best to be a great teammate. I appreciate the NFL giving me the opportunity to continue to work on myself and improve. I am thankful and grateful for this opportunity to play a game that I truly love and I look forward to joining a new team soon. Thank you to my family and all those that have supported me. I will show the fans my appreciation for this second chance by having the best season of my career. #AB2.0 #Himmothy
According to Brown’s agent, he will not appeal the suspension and will serve it.
With the 2020 season coming soon, it will be hard to see teams draw any interest in signing Brown after his eight-game suspension. Before his suspension, teams like the Seahawks and Ravens had drawn interests in signing him.
It would be a risky thing to sign Brown and general managers will also have to think about the reputation he will bring to a team. With his history of locker room meltdowns and off the field issues, teams will just have to think twice before even considering signing him.
Because this upcoming season will be played in the middle of a pandemic and there are so many unanswered questions regarding the upcoming season, it is hard to see teams considering signing Brown. If the NFL does get cut short, many teams will forget about Brown.
Brown had an incredible NFL career. He has been a top-performing wide receiver in the past decade, with one Super Bowl appearance on his resume. Because of Brown’s troubling past, it looks like his NFL career has ended abruptly with the state of how the NFL will be heading in the 2020 season.