Report: Antonio Brown Wouldn't Have Been Signed If Robert Kraft Knew Allegations

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistSeptember 15, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Wide Receiver Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The New England Patriots knew Antonio Brown came with off-field concerns, but they would reportedly not have signed him if sexual assault allegations had come out beforehand.

"Had the team known, one person familiar with the situation said, owner Robert Kraft would not have signed off on the signing," Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported Sunday.

Brown's former trainer Britney Taylor filed a civil lawsuit last week that said he sexually assaulted her in three separate instances, per Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. The news came out one day after he was officially signed by the team.

Taylor is scheduled to meet with NFL officials Monday as the league tries to complete it's investigation "as quickly as possible," per Rapoport.

The receiver remains active and is set to make his debut with the team Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Brown has already been shipped away from two different teams so far in 2019 due to off-field concerns, traded away from the Pittsburgh Steelers before being released by the Oakland Raiders. In both cases, he had reported conflicts with either team officials or other players.

However, Patriots coach Bill Belichick didn't seem concerned about adding a controversial player. 

"That's the same thing you (the collective media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in," he said Tuesday, per Kevin Patra of NFL.com.

Belichick's comments were made before the sexual assault lawsuit against Brown became public.

Kraft also has his own upcoming trial after being charged with misdemeanor solicitation of prostitution at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Florida. He has pleaded not guilty.

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