The reason Antonio Brown might be available sooner than we think

July 3rd, 2020 | Written by Rob Staton

We’ve talked a lot about Russell Wilson’s apparent interest in playing with Antonio Brown this season. The workout video this week felt like Wilson was making a point. He wants that story in the media and he wants Brown on the Seahawks — months after calling for the team to land some superstars.

I’ve often highlighted the caveat that Brown is likely to face a lengthy suspension. Thus, any move to sign him seemed like a ways off.

However, Mike Florio raised an interesting point in the video above.

Brown was cut by the Patriots after week two when allegations of sexual and personal misconduct were levied against him and then he allegedly sent intimidating text messages sent to one of his accusers. He was never placed on the commissioners exempt list but that was inevitable the minute anyone signed him. Thus, nobody did.

We know teams were interested. Heck, the Seahawks were linked to him on multiple occasions during the 2019 season. Yet teams knew it would be a waste of time. The minute he penned a contract, he was going on the exempt list due to the allegations. He wasn’t officially suspended but he was essentially frozen out of the NFL.

So while we assume Brown will likely receive a significant suspension were he to sign with a team now, Florio notes it could be argued he’s already served a 14 game ban. If the league wished to suspend him for 16 games — a full season — it’s possible that he might actually only miss two games in 2020. It would certainly be difficult for the league to argue he hadn’t already been prevented from signing for a team and playing in 14 games last season while the allegations remained unaddressed.

That’s something to consider as talk of Brown signing with a team ramps up. If he’s going to miss between 0-2 games in 2020, his signing is a lot more likely than if he was going to miss half the season or more. Presumably when there’s clarity on how much time, if any, he will miss in 2020 — that’s the moment he will sign somewhere.

It’s also worth noting that Wilson isn’t the only quarterback willing to petition for his team signing Brown. Deshaun Watson wants him in Houston and Lamar Jackson has also worked out with him. Tom Brady seems determined to work with him again. Mike Garafolo reported this week that many quarterbacks are ‘enamoured’ with the idea of playing with him. Garofolo also suggested Brown’s preferred destination is Seattle.

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86 Responses to “The reason Antonio Brown might be available sooner than we think”

  1. cha says:

    I’m trying to remember if Kareem Hunt got “credit” for missing the last few games after being cut by KC in 2018. He got an 8 game suspension after signing with the Browns the next year. Anyone recall?

    Not quite apples to apples but the closest I can think of.

    Or maybe the new CBA changes some things. I didn’t listen to the whole Florio video. Maybe he addresses that.

  2. Tien says:

    I agree that Brown and his attorney could validly argue that he essentially served his 14 game suspension already due to teams not signing him.

    However, if the NFL wanted they could make as valid of an argument that teams not wanting to deal with his poor behavior and anti-team attitude was as much of a contributing factor to teams not signing him as the fear of a potential lengthy suspension by the league. The judge who rules in Brown’s favor has to be convinced that Brown’s bizarre behavior and burning of bridges with his last 3 teams was not a major factor in teams deciding not to sign him.

    It’ll be interesting to see if he gets signed by any team. I’m still on the fence about him. He’s still a great talent but is seemingly such a bad teammate/person that it’ll feel kind of dirty cheering him on if he’s on the Seahawks.

    • Rob Staton says:

      The NFL could try and argue that but they’d get absolutely nowhere. Several teams could easily vouch that they would’ve signed Brown had they known he would’ve been available. Including, presumably, the Patriots (who have plenty of cause to exact some revenge over the NFL). And it’s almost certain that the league communicated to teams that if they signed Brown, he wouldn’t be available. One email would be enough to dismiss that argument.

      • Tien says:

        Good point. If the NFL did send an email or any written communication about the expected suspension if any team signed him then you’re right, they don’t have a case. I hadn’t considered that the NFL might have/would have provided written warning about the consequence of signing Brown.

        • Rob Staton says:

          Here’s an example:

          ‘Roger — if we sign Antonio Brown are you likely to let him play?’

          ‘Roger — I couldn’t possibly say’

          Even something as vague as that could be evidence that the league was placing doubt within the mind of a team.

          • Navyguy says:

            If the NFL said that to me after this much time has passed I’d go ballistic. The NFL should have a real good idea of what they want to do by now.

  3. Navyguy says:

    AB would be wise to play for the best QB he can get.

  4. hawkfanforetenity says:

    Rob, thanks for continuing to post well written articles. I check your blog every day to see what you’ve posted, and it always brightens my day to find something new here.

  5. Aaron says:

    Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) Tweeted:

    1/2 Browns’ TE David Njoku and his agent Drew Rosenhaus asked today for the team to trade him. The Browns told Njoku they would like to keep him, but Rosenhaus told them he’s intent on a trade. They want a trade before training camp.

    https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1279118675111337984?s=20

  6. Rob Staton says:

    Washington Silverbacks

    That’s my call for the new Redskins name.

    It’s an absolute travesty that no major American franchise has a gorilla for a mascot. Gorillas are the ultimate BAMF animal.

  7. Adog says:

    The Washington crackers …a little bit for tat

  8. charlietheunicorn says:

    You know it is serious when….. people are bettin on the Washington Football teams future name.

    Here are the betting odds for the next team name
    (courtesy of SportsBetting.ag / CNN article)
    Presidents +300
    Generals +400
    Lincolns +400
    Americans +500
    Kings +500
    Memorials +500
    Capitols +600
    Veterans +600
    Jeffersons +700
    Roosevelts +700
    Monuments +800
    Arlingtons +1000

  9. Happy Hawk says:

    Washington PC’S
    Washington MLK’s
    Washington Autonomous Zone’s
    Washington Red Necks
    Washington Swamp
    Washington Pandemics
    Washington Filibusters
    Washington Rona’s
    Washington Wuhans
    Washington War Mongers

  10. Volume12 says:

    Washington Redtails. Look up the Redtails. It’s pretty dope.

    • cha says:

      This I can get behind in a big way.

      • Volume12 says:

        You could do a lot of cool things w/ the logo too. Like a P-51 Mustang.

        • cha says:

          For sure. And for a twist, keep the feather part of the original logo for an alternate, since redtail hawks are native to the area.

        • charlietheunicorn says:

          They could use the P-47 Thunderbolt Iconography. P-47 were warriors, heavily armered and armored and could take a beating and still give out punishment. That would be (as Rob would say) BAMF.

          I had associated that with them with the 47 more the 51, even though it was made popular in the movie of the same name.

          “When the pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted the tails of their P-47s red, the nickname “Red Tails” was coined. The red markings that distinguished the Tuskegee Airmen included red bands on the noses of P-51s as well as a red rudder; the P-51B and D Mustangs flew with similar color schemes, with red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and all-red tail surfaces.”

          Many colors are the same as the current ones fopr the team.

    • TJ says:

      Read the story behind the name and I like it. Would be a classy tribute.

  11. charlietheunicorn says:

    Washington DC Beasts would be a good name.

  12. McZ says:

    My favourite is Washington Redcoats.

  13. Hawkdawg says:

    The Redcoats was a widely used nickname at the time for the bad guys in the Revolutionary War. That one is unlikely…

  14. jopa726 says:

    Washington Fireworks

  15. JD says:

    SAY BROWN IS 5/7 MILLION, AND GORDON IS VET MIN, THIS WOULD BE EASILY DOABLE AND JUST A RICHES OF OPTIONS FOR WILSON.

    WR:

    BROWN
    DK
    LOCKETT
    GORDON
    DORSETT

    TE:

    OLSEN
    DISSLY
    TWO ROOKIES

    PRACTICE SQUAD:

    URSUA
    SWAIN

    CUT:

    MOORE
    LUKE
    HOLLISTER

    • Rob Staton says:

      A couple of points…

      — I don’t see any reason why Antonio Brown would cost $5-7m unless he is fully cleared to play and a bidding war breaks out. At the moment, I would imagine he would cost a lot less than that and need to go through a prove-it year.

      — Hollister isn’t going to be cut. They placed a second round tender on him for a reason. It’s a bit optimistic for Stephen Sullivan to project he will make the cut and Hollister won’t. Sullivan is much more likely to land on the PS.

  16. JD says:

    I of course would keep Hollister as 3rd TE over Sullivan but above I stated Brown at 5-7 million and if so cuts would need to be made. If Brown comes in a vet min or a couple million than yes of course Hollister over either TE rookie. But I “think” Brown will get more money than many believe. 5 Million is a bargain for a top 3 WR in the game, even with his many issues. Either way I hope we go for it!

  17. charlietheunicorn says:

    I never thought I would live to see the day….

    Washington Redskins coach Ron Rivera says he has been working with owner Dan Snyder on a new team nickname in recent weeks.

    “If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome,” Rivera told The Washington Post on Saturday.

  18. BobbyK says:

    Washington Blamers

    They can fire Ron Rivera and hire Jim Mora immediately.

    Whenever they lose a game, Mora can blame it on the kicker, just as all Democrats blame Republicans for everything and all Republicans blame Democrats everything.

  19. Henry Taylor says:

    Ultimate BAMF name…

    The Washington Jorge Masvidals