It’s been nearly a week since the NFL gave receiver Antonio Brown (partial) clarity regarding his status, with an eight-game suspension to be served in 2020 and, potentially, further punishment of an unresolved civil lawsuit accusing him of sexual assault and rape.. Since then, no team has been linked to him in any serious way.
The question becomes whether he’ll be signed during training camp, or whether teams will simply wait until his eight-game suspension ends. Given that he’s currently free and clear to participate in camp, this would be a great opportunity to get him in shape and to teach him the system before a mandatory two-month break.
One problem is that teams still can’t bring in players for tryouts. A team interested in Brown, at this point, would have to simply sign him and hope for the best.
And there’s the issue that, per a league source, currently is keeping teams from hiring Brown. He can say all the right things before he lands with a team. The concern is that, once he does, he’ll revert to being difficult.
For that reason, Brown needs to be signed to a low-risk contract that allows for a stern one-strike approach. Quite possibly, he’ll have to agree to a deal that pays the minimum salary and that ties his ultimate compensation to performance. For now, he may not be interested in that approach.
Regardless, there’s currently no sense of overwhelming interest in Brown. Although injuries and/or COVID-19 positives could change that, it could be that teams will wait until the suspension ends (or is close to ending) before signing him.