Football fans hoping to see Antonio Brown play in the NFL this season may want to find another storyline to latch onto over the next few months.
There is still plenty of time for Brown — the troubled All-Pro wideout — to find a team. But Brown’s various legal issues, coupled with a lack of credible interest, make it seem likely the former Pittsburgh Steelers standout is on a long-term — and possibly permanent — exile from the NFL.
Antonio Brown has had an ugly 2020
It was less than 13 months ago — Sept. 15, 2019, — that Antonio Brown last played in an NFL game and caught a touchdown.
Everything since then has been a nightmare for Brown, who appeared destined for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. On numerous occasions, Brown has retired (if his tweets saying he’d never play again can be considered retirement) and burned many of his NFL-related bridges.
In June, Brown turned himself into Florida police on charges of burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, and criminal mischief of less than $1,000. The former star receiver and his personal trailer allegedly assaulted a moving truck driver over a bill-related dispute.
Brown, who attended his court hearing in an anti-suicide smock, also received a mental health evaluation. He pleaded no contest to those charges and received two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, according to ESPN.
Brown still has legal issues ahead
Antonio Brown still has unfinished business on the legal side before he can realistically think about returning to the NFL.
Brown is involved in a lawsuit against Britney Taylor, his former personal trainer who alleged Brown sexually assaulted her. NFL Media reported that Brown’s lawyer, Carson Hancock, withdrew from representing Brown in the civil lawsuit.
Hancock represented Brown in the aforementioned burglary and battery charges that Brown pleaded no contest to earlier this year. Brown received an eight-game suspension from the NFL after that incident.
Antonio Brown truly may have played his final NFL snap
Following his no contest plea, there was a belief among media members that Antonio Brown could soon find himself on an NFL roster.
Unfortunately for Brown, it appears his various transgressions have placed him alongside Colin Kaepernick on the do-not-call list. Despite rumors of Brown possibly signing with Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens or joining the Seattle Seahawks, he remained a free agent as of Oct. 6, 2020.
Since last year’s departure from New England, Brown hasn’t even had a tryout or meeting with a team.
Brown turned 32 on July 10 and still has plenty of legal issues. It’s not unheard of for receivers to play deep into their mid, or even late 30s, but those wideouts — players like Jerry Rice or Steve Smith — never had the baggage that Brown will bring to his next stop.
Anything is possible in 2020, a year that has destroyed any preconceptions of what makes sense. But at this point, Brown’s NFL career may have finally reached its true ending.