Receiver Antonio Brown can join the Buccaneers after Week Eight. That doesn’t put him in the clear, however.
The league reserves the right to impose further discipline against Brown based on evidence developing during the civil sexual assault lawsuit still pending against Brown. The lawsuit, filed in September 2019 by Britney Taylor, is due to go to trial in December.
“No conclusions have been reached in the ongoing investigation of that matter,” an NFL spokesman told PFT by email on Sunday. “We are monitoring developments and we will evaluate any additional information that we receive that bears upon whether these allegations are supported by sufficient credible evidence to find a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. If a further violation is found, he would be subject to discipline at that time.”
The trial obviously will generate evidence that could be relevant to the league’s consideration of the case. Brown, per a source with knowledge of the litigation, has not yet testified under oath in a pre-trial deposition. The questioning of Brown, as well as his answers (or non-answers) separately could be relevant to the league’s consideration of the situation.
The Buccaneers also will be paying attention to the case, apparently.
“Let the court system do its job,” Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters after Sunday’s win over the Raiders, via Greg Auman of TheAthletic.com. “If it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.”
It may not be found out to be true until after the season ends, given the ever-present possibility of a continuance. Indeed, Brown could be cut for other reasons long before the case is resolved.
As Saints defensive end Cam Jordan told PFT by phone earlier today regarding the prospect of facing Brown and the Buccaneers in Week Nine on Sunday Night Football, “He’s got to get to Week Nine.”