On Friday, the league announced Antonio Brown, the free-agent wide receiver, had been given an eight-game suspension.
Brown has received a suspension without pay for several violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He had been subjected to an NFL investigation after being accused of sexual misconduct by an artist who was working at his home in 2017.
In June, Brown pleaded no contest to a felony burglary with battery charge and two other misdemeanor charges related to an incident that occurred in January. According to reports, the incident occurred outside of his home in Hollywood, Florida.
Other than announcing Brown’s suspension, the NFL said he was directed to continue counseling and treatment. They also said that any other violations would result in harsher consequences.
It’s Not the First Time
There is another ongoing NFL investigation with Brown’s name on it. Brown had a lawsuit filed against him by his former trainer that alleged she was sexually assaulted by the professional athlete.
His former trainer, Britney Taylor, claims that he sexually assaulted her in 2017 and 2018 a total of three times. Taylor proceeded to file a lawsuit seeking at least $75,000 in damages and met with NFL investigators.
Brown has spoken publicly about the issue and claimed it was a consensual relationship. He met with the league as part of the investigation last November.
It is possible that the amount of games Brown is suspended for could increase as the investigation unfolds.
Brown’s Future in the NFL is Unknown
Antonio Brown had his sixth straight 100-reception season in 2018 – an NFL record.
The last time Antonio Brown played on a pro field was in Sept. 2019 for the New England Patriots. The team let him go one week later, and he has yet to be signed by another team.
It is possible Brown could sign with a team before the regular season begins, which would allow him the opportunity to participate in preseason activities. The suspension would begin after the final roster reduction on Sept. 5, regardless of him being signed or not. He would then be eligible to return to play after the league’s eighth week or the team’s eighth game.
Unfortunately, Brown has hit several setbacks in the past few years. He was forced out of Pittsburgh via trade to the Raiders, suffered a devastating foot injury, and ultimately refused to participate for the Raiders resulting in his release from the franchise.
His career with the Patriots did not appear to have much promise as it barely had the chance to start. There have been several claims of Brown potentially retiring, and after his suspension, these claims may become a reality.
As of now, Brown is not signed to a team, and it is unknown how these circumstances will continue to affect his career in the NFL.