Since the New England Patriots released Antonio Brown, his future in the NFL has remained up in the air. There has yet to be any clarity concerning when he could get back on the field as the league continues its ongoing investigation into his legal matters. It’s still quite a fluid situation, but there looks to be an internal push from Brown to get it all resolved sooner rather than later.
Antonio Brown’s uncertain NFL future
It has been nothing short of an eventful last few months for Brown that has him out of a job in the NFL.
His questionable decision-making off the field and often erratic behavior have cost him millions of dollars, along with being released by the Patriots and Oakland Raiders. Brown is now dealing with two serious legal matters involving a pair of sexual misconduct allegations.
The hopes were that a fresh start with the Raiders would get his career back on track, but things quickly went south with issues involving his helmet choice and frostbitten feet. His departure became imminent after his relationship with the front office began to fracture.
Brown immediately got another shot with the Patriots, but his off-the-field issues led to the team moving on from him in less than two weeks. Since then, he has put in appeals and grievances to get back his guaranteed money from both the Raiders and Patriots, which is still an ongoing matter.
All of that, combined with the league conducting a thorough investigation on his legal problems, has kept him out of the NFL.
Antonio Brown hoping to return to the NFL in 2019
The 31-year-old has continued to stay in a holding pattern as the NFL sorts through its investigation.
Brown met with the league last week for eight hours to get more clarity on the matter. Meanwhile, he decided to take to Instagram on Tuesday morning to voice his regret for the way he handled his exit from the Patriots, where he bashed team owner Robert Kraft.
In light of all that, Brown is believed to be hoping that a decision on his situation will be reached soon with a chance to play this season, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Brown remains hopeful that a decision will come “very soon.” There’s a sense of optimism from Brown’s perspective that he will be cleared to return to the NFL before the 2019 regular season ends.
His aspirations all hinge on the league deciding that there is no punishment involving a possible suspension. That could keep him out for the rest of the year while potentially pushing teams away from pursuing him in free agency. Until the NFL completes its investigation, there will be no movement on this front.
Will Antonio Brown play in the NFL again?
Regardless of all the social media rants, it’s quite evident that teams around the league are keeping a close eye on the situation around Brown.
The interest in him is all solely based on his ability on the field as he’s still among the top wide receivers in the league. His addition to any team could give them one of the best game-changing talents.
The Seattle Seahawks’ decision to inquire about him before claiming Josh Gordon was a clear indication that teams are interested. It’s just a matter of him getting through it without any significant punishment.
The only thing that Brown can do at this juncture is to stay ready physically while remaining out of any additional off-the-field questionable situation. The rest is up for the legal system and the NFL to decide what lies next.