FOXBORO – Wide receiver Antonio Brown is heading to Miami with the intention of playing for the New England Patriots in this weekend’s road game against the Dolphins, the NFL Network reported.
Brown, the subject of a civil suit by his former trainer alleging rape and sexual assault, was under consideration for the Commissioner’s Exempt List, according to USA Today. Commissioner Roger Goodell will not enact his authority in the matter at this time, but the NFL is expected to interview the woman and Brown as part of its investigation.
Brown has participated in practices this week with the Patriots (1-0) after being released last weekend by the Oakland Raiders.
Whether Brown actually sees the field against the Dolphins (0-1) is in question, as coach Bill Belichick told reporters on Friday that the 31-year-old had a “long way to go.”
“Obviously, he’s not familiar with our offense,” Belichick said. “The systems that he’s been in have been quite different. Jon (Gruden, Raiders coach) does the West Coast offense, which there’s very little carryover from their system to our system. Not bad or good — just we’ve had players before. It’s just not all going to carry over, and a similar thing in Pittsburgh.
“You know, he’s working hard to pick it up, and we’re working hard to get it to him. … We try to get him caught up to speed as quickly as you can. It’s too much ground to make up in a few days, but we do the best we can and we’ll see how it goes.”
Brown inked a reported one-year, $15 million deal that includes a $9 million signing bonus and a $20 million team option for 2020 last Saturday after his release from the Raiders.
Brown, the subject of a civil suit by his former trainer alleging rape and sexual assault, was under consideration for the Commissioner’s Exempt List, according to USA Today. But commissioner Roger Goodell will not enact his authority in the matter at this time.
USA Today reported Goodell is reserving the right to place Brown on the exempt list should criminal charges be brought against the wide receiver.
Whether Brown will be active and on the field for the Patriots at Miami after three days of practice is up to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Multiple reports indicate the Patriots were not aware of the civil suit Saturday when they agreed to a one-year deal with Brown hours after he was released by the Oakland Raiders.
After bailing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 regular-season finale and sitting out Week 1 this year, Brown could pay for the first time since Dec. 23 if he faces the Dolphins.
Belichick downplayed Brown’s past, responding to a question about Brown being a disruption with a name from the past that worked out pretty well.
“That’s the same thing you (the media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said.
–Field Level Media