If the Baltimore Ravens or any other club wish to sign veteran wide receiver Antonio Brown ahead of Week 1 of the season, he'll be a spectator for at least half of the campaign.
On Friday, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero tweeted that the 32-year-old four-time First-Team All-Pro wideout will be suspended by the NFL for eight games.
Free-agent receiver Antonio Brown is being suspended eight games, source said.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 31, 2020
The good news for clubs with Brown on their radars is that his suspension begins in Week 1 whether or not he is signed. This, theoretically, gives organizations more time to evaluate his status, and potentially see if he stays out of trouble.
Antonio Brown's eight-game suspension takes effect Week 1, regardless of whether he's on a roster -- and could be extended if further violations are found related to an ongoing civil suit in Florida, per source.— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 31, 2020
So AB is sidelined at least through Week 8, and potentially longer
More from the NFL on Antonio Brown’s eight-game suspension (at least). He’d be allowed to participate in training camp if a team signs him, with the suspension taking effect Sept. 5. pic.twitter.com/kXHbrkyBSo— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 31, 2020
Brown infamously orchestrated exits from both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders in 2019 before he landed with the New England Patriots. Brown had appeared in a single game for New England when the club released him in September amid allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment via text messages, as noted by ESPN's Mike Reiss.
According to Pelissero, however, this suspension stems from an incident involving Brown and a moving truck driver documented by Cameron Wolfe of ESPN last March, as well as allegations made by a second woman, per Bleacher Report's Timothy Rapp.
Pelissero added Brown's next hearing in a civil suit related to sexual misconduct allegations is scheduled for September.
Antonio Brown's next hearing in the civil suit -- related to sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations levied by his former trainer -- is scheduled for Sept. 15, shortly after Week 1. https://t.co/FqHeR1YZdo— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 31, 2020
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The following teams have not had a wide receiver make the AP First Team All Pro team in the Super Bowl era: Baltimore Ravens, Buffalo Bills, Denver Broncos, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants and Tampa Bay Buccaneers.