Former NFL superstar Antonio Brown was the premier wide receiver in the NFL during his playing days with the Pittsburgh Steelers. So, when he says he wants back into the NFL, you would think teams would be jumping at the chance to sign someone of his caliber. Yes, even though he has acted like a darn fool for the last few months.
However, dealing with and handling fools is something NFL teams do all the time. If doing so can help them win games and possibly even the Super Bowl? You better believe teams will sign the court jester!
Right now, with no criminal charges pending, that’s all he is— a fool. But a fool with incredible hands, fantastic speed and athleticism, and more talent in his pinky finger than most NFL receivers have in their entire bodies.
And Drake likes him, so he can’t be all bad.
Antonio Brown with Drake in "God's Plan" pic.twitter.com/hEd2NYKLBJ
— Coventry Fantasy Football 2019 (@CoventryFF2019) October 12, 2019
So, What’s the Holdup?
Brown says he wants to play again and has posted some odd messages to the New England Patriots to that effect. But it isn’t as easy as them letting him play because they are paying him (he’s probably assuming he is going to win his grievances against them).
Based on everything I heard the day the Patriots released Antonio Brown, there’s absolutely no chance of a reunion. It would require an organizational heel turn unlike one I’ve ever seen before. https://t.co/oLrkuZzG5M
— Jeff Howe (@jeffphowe) October 9, 2019
While he is not under criminal investigation, legal cases are pending against him. Until those get resolved, no team is going to touch him. Even then, there is undoubtedly going to be punishment coming from the NFL at some point. But to that end, he will need to speak with the league investigators, first. To date, he has been reluctant to do so since he is not signed to a roster.
Of course, if he acts as foolish in that eventual meeting as he did in a recent deposition, he might as well not bother.
According to recent reports, he wants back in and is looking to have all of his issues resolved within the next few weeks. Since there are no criminal charges involved, he could agree to some sort of financial arrangement and – he presumably thinks – make all his problems magically go away. He has made close to $71 million during his career; he could easily afford the price.
It’s a New League, Antonio Brown
While there would not be anything criminal against Brown, that would not matter with the NFL. In recent years, the league has appeared to handle its cases a lot like a civil court. Guys don’t need to be guilty beyond a reasonable doubt; they just have to look guilty.
So, he will get hit with a suspension; the only question is its length. He faces numerous accusations, but the league won’t convict him solely off allegations. If any settlements he makes with his accusers come with stipulations they do not talk to the NFL, the NFL may not have much to punish him on. They won’t punish him for acting like an idiot, so his suspension could be light.
However, don’t expect anyone to sign him anytime soon.
The NFL has always been a results-oriented league, which is why guys like Greg Hardy, Pac Man Jones, and Michael Vick got the chances they got. If there was a reason to believe a player could help win games, and no incriminating video existed, someone would sign him.
Teams are starting to care more about perception. If there is a reason the fans might hate him, that player is not wanted. Teams do not deem the headache worth the potential reward anymore.
But, please, Antonio Brown, get your house together anyway. It’s becoming sad to watch your decline. Either that or sign a reality television show deal with someone. The production value of your livestreams leaves something to be desired.