Report: Antonio Brown not expected to return to NFL this season


New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown pauses while working out during practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. (Steven Senne/AP)

The Antonio Brown saga seems far from over, but it looks like it’ll stay off the gridiron for the rest of this season.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Brown is facing a series of hurdles in his potential return to the NFL after being cut from the New England Patriots amid several sexual misconduct allegations. Even if he does get an offer, it seems improbable he’ll get to play this season, according to Schefter.

Though there are reportedly franchises interested in signing Brown once the investigations have concluded, Schefter says that the league is prepared to place the wide receiver on the commissioner’s exempt list — which would mean that Brown would be sidelined until the end of the investigations, which could last until the end of the season, even if a team signed him.

“If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation,” said a league statement released on Sept. 20.

Schefter also reports that there is worry among teams that, even after investigations are concluded, the NFL will enforce additional discipline.

Brown has gone on some notorious Twitter rants since being cut by the Patriots in Week 3, ranging from stating he would never play in the NFL again to calling out other men in the sport who have been accused of sexual misconduct in the past.

On Nov. 7, after another profanity-laden Twitter rant, Brown backtracked and said he was “determined” to get back into the league.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said there are “a few teams that are very interested in signing Antonio once this process is over.”

According to Schefter, Brown hasn’t turned in the evidence required by the league’s investigation and hasn’t been interviewed yet. He has reportedly filed eight grievances against the Oakland Raiders and Patriots, seeking over $39 million in lost salary, guaranteed money and bonuses.

When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.