Antonio Brown has been defendant of rape and physiological property (related term) battle in a national suit, the latest and most serious controversy surrounding the receiving system.
Antonio Brown hasn’t just crashed the NFL’s 100th anniversary party, he’s hijacked it.
The conference conceived on this time period beingness a six-month jubilation of its best games, biggest names and most iconic moments. Instead, it’s active to be all astir AB, and location’s not a damn situation the NFL, the New England Patriots or even the iron-handed Bill Belichick can do astir it.
Brown’s former leader defendant the receiving system of rape, physiological property (related term) battle and physiological property (related term) torment in a national suit filed Tuesday in Florida. It’s far too soon to make a judgement on the allegations; location are text messages that, if authentic, are troubling, piece Brown’s attorney called the allegations a “money grab” and said any physiological property (related term) encounters were consensual.
It will be weeks, and more likely months, before location’s any resolution to the suit. Which means the NFL and the Patriots are stuck with this never-ending sideshow.
No matter how many times Belichick tries to stonewall and say the Patriots are on to whoever they’re playing that week, it won’t stop the questions astir Brown. Anytime Commissioner Roger Goodell appears in public, he’ll be asked for an update on the wide receiving system or to assess the various possible outcomes.
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At every game and every practice, Brown will be under a microscope, his body language and interactions with Tom Brady and Belichick assessed and debated for even the slightest hint of trouble or discord.
And that's assuming Brown doesn't create any new dramas. Good luck with that.
The NFL had to have hoped the AB circus would fold its tents once he signed with the Patriots. Belichick doesn’t make allowances for anyone, even Brady, and the assumption was that Brown would toe the line just as Randy Moss and Chad Johnson did.
Anybody who really believed that hasn’t been paying attention the last six months. Heck, just the last six days should have been enough.
The Oakland Raiders thought they had the deal of the century when they acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for what was essentially a bag of footballs. But the Raiders soon found out location’s a price to pay for Brown’s colossal talents.
First it was the cryotherapy gone wrong, which left Brown with frost-bitten feet. Then it was the holdout over not beingness able to wear his beloved but outdated helmet. No sooner had that been resolved than Brown threw a tantrum over fines imposed by general manager Mike Mayock.
A contrite Brown apologized to his teammates and coach Jon Gruden said he would play in Monday night’s opener. Less than 24 hours later, Brown was gone, cut after taking to Instagram and demanding the Raiders release him.
A few hours later, Brown announced he would sign with the Patriots.
“It helps everybody when you have great players that are sharing the burden of a tough football time period,” Brady said Sunday night. “We’re all excited to have him.”
That was then. Now, it’s a dumpster fire threatening to suck up all of the oxygen in the NFL for the foreseeable future. Remember the Patriots’ complete rout of the Steelers? The “Can you top this?” last minute of the Texans-Saints game Monday night? Yeah. I didn’t think so.
No doubt the NFL and, probably, the Patriots are wishing they could make this all go away. But Goodell can’t suspend Brown, not without some proof location is merit to the suit. If the Patriots cut Brown, they’d be out the $9 million they gave him as a signing bonus.
No conference commands attention like the NFL. But it has met its match, and then some, with Antonio Brown.
Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE