Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown said he won’t play in the NFL again in a Sunday morning tweet.
“Will not be playing in the @NFL anymore these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime we will see if the @NFLPA hold them accountable sad they can just void guarantees anytime going on 40m 2 months will see if they pay up!,” he wrote.
He followed it up with a series of tweets about Patriots owner Bob Kraft, former player turned TV personality Shannon Sharpe and Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who each had scandals mark their careers. Brown implied that they were held to a different standard than he is being held to currently.
The Patriots cut the controversial wideout on Friday afternoon, five days after Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and scored a touchdown in his debut with the team. Brown’s due $5 million of a $9 million signing bonus on Monday, but the Patriots could try to void the deal and the $1 million guaranteed base salary he is owed. The Oakland Raiders cut him earlier in September after reportedly voiding a $30 million guarantee.
His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told ESPN on Saturday he’s been in touch with “a few teams,” who “want information regarding (Brown’s) legal situation and the NFL investigation” into accusations against Brown of sexual assault and sending intimidating text messages.
ESPN reported that people around the league don’t expect any team to sign Brown until the league’s investigation is resolved.
The NFL released a statement hours later in response to questions about Brown’s status.
“Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation,” the statement read, in part. “We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.
“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”
Britney Taylor, Brown’s former trainer, filed a civil suit last week accusing him of three incidents of sexual assault or rape over a two-year period from 2017-18. According to multiple reports, the league met with Taylor for 10 hours last Monday, and a meeting with Brown was expected at some point.
On Thursday, Sports Illustrated reported that a female artist — who leveled claims earlier this week that Brown made unwanted sexual advances before firing her — contacted the NFL claiming the 31-year-old wide receiver sent her “intimidating and threatening” texts. On Friday, the woman’s attorney said the league had agreed to investigate the situation, and that the league had contacted the Patriots, who told Brown not to contact the woman any further.
In 10 NFL seasons (the first nine with Pittsburgh), Brown has 841 catches for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro.