If you listen to and believe the rumor mill, an end may be in sight for the Antonio Brown saga.
Brown has remained a free agent since the New England Patriots cut him after Week Two. The perceived holdup has been the NFL’s investigation into the sexual allegations made against Brown. It took a while, but the league did finally meet with Brown.
Roger Goodell has said the investigation is still ongoing. At this point in the season, it is likely safe to say it is not going to be done anytime soon—or at least quick enough to matter.
But if Mike Freeman of Bleacher Report can be believed, they are close enough to an end for the length of a possible suspension to be batted around. According to his sources, the suspension could be for anywhere from six weeks to the whole season.
Great! It’s about time. Surely it’s safe to grab him in fantasy football “keeper” leagues (and stash him until his suspension ends), right? Not exactly.
From what Freeman is hearing, it isn’t the suspension – or even the sexual assault allegations – that will hold him back.
Antonio Brown was one of the best wide receivers in the game (maybe the best) with the Steelers. He could catch anything, feared nothing, was hard to tackle, and was always a moment away from doing something amazing whenever he stepped on the field.
As a football player, he is the kind of guy you want to have on your team. When a clutch play is needed, he can be counted on to come through. So, when rumors float around about 20 or so teams having interest in signing Brown, those rumors are believable.
But from what Freeman is hearing, no one is going to want to sign him if he can’t stay off social media:
Brown has been a never-ending source of entertainment on Twitter and Instagram for months. From his training videos to his Twitter rants blaming everyone else for his problems to airing his dirty laundry—nothing has been off-limits for Brown on Twitter and Instagram.
Brown has done whatever he feels like. Why not? As he likes to put it—he’s free to be AB.
When it comes down to it, the only thing NFL owners and coaches care about is results. That is why there are so many domestic abusers and criminals that keep getting jobs. If they can still play and help win games, teams are willing to deal with the blowback.
But that is starting to trend in the other direction. Teams are starting to care more about optics than they have in the past. That’s why the New York Giants recently let Janoris Jenkins go.
But for someone who looks as addicted to Twitter as Antonio Brown does, that may be a bridge too far.