Home NFL Antonio Brown to meet with NFL, could pave way for 2019 return with multiple teams interested, per reports – CBS Sports
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Antonio Brown to meet with NFL, could pave way for 2019 return with multiple teams interested, per reports – CBS Sports

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The NFL has been investigating Antonio Brown for nearly two months now, and despite that lengthy period of time, Brown still hasn’t been interviewed by the league as part of its investigation into the multiple sexual assault accusations that have been levied against the receiver since the beginning of the 2019 season.

Over the past two months, it had become pretty clear that Brown wasn’t going to get signed until the investigation was complete, and it wasn’t going to be complete until the NFL actually interviewed him. The good news for Brown is that his interview has now been scheduled. 

According to ESPN.com, Brown is scheduled to meet with the league on Nov. 13 to tell his side of the story.  Brown is apparently “eager” to present his side in the hopes he can get cleared by league, which would pave the way for him to return to football in 2019.

Brown has been in hot water since September when a sexual assault lawsuit was filed against him in Florida. In the lawsuit, Brown is accused of sexually assaulting a female acquaintance, Britney Taylor, on three separate occasions between June 2017 and May 2018. Although Brown’s legal team has admitted that the two had a sexual relationship, his camp maintains that everything was consensual between Brown and Taylor. Taylor was interviewed by the NFL back on Sept. 16.  

Not only is the free agent receiver facing that lawsuit, but he’s also been accused of sending intimidating text messages to a woman who had accused him of sexual misconduct in Sports Illustrated story that was published in mid-September

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was actually asked about Brown’s case at the fall league meeting in October, but he didn’t really offer any update for when the league’s investigation might be completed. 

“We’re still working at that,” Goodell said of the case. “I will probably be getting an update when I get back to New York. Our folks have been working diligently at that. When we reach a conclusion, I’ll obviously let you know.”

Although the league has yet to punish Brown, the NFL did warn teams that he could be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list if he ends up getting signed, which is likely a big reason why no team has signed him. 

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

The reason the threat of the commissioner’s exempt list has likely been deterring teams from signing him is because it means the team would have to pay him, but he wouldn’t be allowed to play. For instance, if the Saints had hypothetically signed him last month, the league could simply place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list until the end of the investigation. If that happened, the Saints would have to pay him even though he wouldn’t be allowed to play while he was on the list. Also, there’s no guarantee that Brown would even be allowed to play once the investigation was over. If the league suspended the receiver, then the Saints would have paid him during the investigation only to not have him at all. 

If Brown does get cleared, it appears that there will be multiple teams interested in signing him, despite the fact that he’s been dumped by three teams over the past eight months (the Steelers traded him while the Raiders and Patriots both cut him)

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN.com in early November that there are “a few teams that are very interested in signing Antonio once this process is over.” However, Rosenhaus did admit that the each of those teams wants to see how Brown’s legal situation will play out before they would actually sign him. Although Rosenhaus didn’t name any of the teams that might be looking to sign Brown, it appears that one of them was the Seahawks. Russell Wilson apparently was pushing his team to add Brown, but the Seahawks ended up adding Josh Gordon instead

CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported in October that the Brown situation would likely be resolved at some point after the Oct. 29 trade deadline, and at the time, he reported the 49ers, Saints, Ravens, Colts and Packers as the contending teams that would probably make the most sense as a Brown landing spot. However, we can probably take the 49ers off that list since they traded for Emmanuel Sanders after La Canfora’s report came out. If Brown does get cleared by the NFL, he’ll be free to sign with any team that makes him an offer. 

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