Four-time All-Pro Antonio Brown might be joining quarterback Drew Brees and record-setting wide receiver Michael Thomas in New Orleans after the embattled NFL free agent posted a picture of the team’s free agent waiver form on Instagram.
‘Back to business,’ Brown wrote in the Friday morning Instagram post while including a shot from inside the Saints’ locker room.
Brown is currently being investigated under the NFL’s personal conduct policy for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting his personal trainer. He has denied the accusations, which were made in federal lawsuit that has since been refiled in Florida.
Antonio Brown is currently being investigated under the NFL’s personal conduct policy for allegedly raping and sexually assaulting his personal trainer. He has denied the accusations, which were made in federal lawsuit that has since been refiled in Florida
Four-time All-Pro Antonio Brown might be joining quarterback Drew Brees and record-setting wide receiver Michael Thomas in New Orleans after the embattled NFL free agent posted a picture of the team’s free agent waiver form on Instagram
Emails to Brown’s agent and the Saints were not immediately returned, but it appears as though he will work out for New Orleans – an 11-3 team generally considered to be a Super Bowl contender.
The Saints would be Brown’s third team since August.
He’s been a free agent since September 20, when the New England Patriots released him 10 days after the allegations against him emerged, followed by claims that he sexually harassed another woman.
The Patriots and Brown agreed to a deal on September 7, immediately following his release from Oakland, where he had a volatile confrontation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock over personal fines stemming from a string of missed training camp practices.
The 31-year-old was among the game’s best players with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded following the 2018 season to the Raiders, who made him the NFL’s highest-paid wide receiver with a three-year, $50 million contract extension.
The accusations against Brown were not made public until September 10, when his former trainer and Central Michigan classmate Britney Taylor filed a federal lawsuit accusing him of raping her and sexually assaulting her on three occasions between 2017 and 2018. She has since dropped that lawsuit to refile in Florida, where Brown owns a home.
Brown played his only game for the Patriots on September 15, catching four passes from Tom Brady, including a touchdown.
In the days that followed, an unidentified woman told Sports Illustrated that she had been hired by Brown in 2017 to paint a mural in his Pittsburgh home, where he disrobed and approached her while wearing only a hand towel over his genitals.
The woman has not sued Brown or gone to the police, but following the release of the article, Brown and his friends sent her menacing text messages, which were then published by Sports Illustrated.
Brown was released by New England shortly thereafter, although the team has not specified the exact reason for cutting him.
His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has acknowledged that he and Brown knew of the possibility of Taylor’s lawsuit for some time, but refused to say if either of them communicated that information to the Patriots.
Rosenhaus has insisted that teams remain interested in Brown, pending the league investigation.
Both Taylor and Brown have met with league officials at the NFL offices in New York to discuss the matter.
Since becoming a free agent, Brown has vacillated on social media between returning to the NFL and quitting football altogether.
Recently his father Eddie Brown (a former Arena League player but not the retired Cincinnati Bengals receiver) told ESPN that he felt as though the ‘overwhelming’ pressure of being an NFL player had gotten to his son.
‘It really hit a head with the situation in Pittsburgh,’ Eddie Brown told ESPN. ‘It all became overwhelming. Instead of reaching out for counseling or understanding of how to deal with it, he decided to handle [it] himself, and it didn’t come out the right way.’
Brown shot back on social media, writing: ‘My dad a failure with 9 kids working @ups he still pays my mom child support do not take anything he says serious I just bought him a Rolex for waisted [sic] time !! Only news he can make talking about me what about your other 8 kids chump.’
Brees, a former Super Bowl champion, is having another productive season at age 40, thanks in large part to Thomas, who just set the NFL’s single-season record for receptions, with 144.
If he plays, Thomas could add to that total in the regular season finale against Carolina on Sunday in Charlotte.
Unless Brown is signed Friday, he would not be able to play in New Orleans’ Week 17 game.