Antonio Brown Rumors: 'Handful Of' Super Bowl Contenders Discussed Signing WR

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistOctober 20, 2019

FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown carries his helmet during an NFL football practice in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots released Brown on Friday, Sept. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
Steven Senne/Associated Press

Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown may not have burned all his NFL bridges just yet.

According to a report from Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, "numerous teams are keeping a close eye on Brown, and a return to the NFL after the trade deadline would not come as a surprise." He added that "there are a handful of contending teams fairly desperate and motivated to upgrade at the receiver spot, and Brown's name has come up in internal discussions in several personnel meetings."

La Canfora noted teams are expected to inquire about several wide receivers ahead of the Oct. 29 trade deadline, including Cincinnati's A.J. Green, Denver's Emmanuel Sanders, Atlanta's Mohamed Sanu and Miami's DeVante Parker. 

But once the deadline passes, interest in Brown is expected to ramp up, per that report.

A factor that could dissuade teams from signing the 31-year-old wideout is the NFL's ongoing investigation into Britney Taylor's allegation that Brown raped her and another woman's accusations of sexual misconduct. 

"We're still working at that," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said of the investigation Oct. 17 during the league meetings in Florida, per Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. "I will probably be getting an update when I get back to New York, but our folks have been working diligently on that, going through materials. There's a lot of material to go through. When we reach a conclusion, we'll obviously let you know."

Even if the NFL decides against punishing Brown after it concludes its investigations, some teams may have serious reservations bringing aboard Brown, who forced his way out of both Pittsburgh and Oakland in the past year and was cut by the New England Patriots after just one game. 

Brown hasn't been silent while he's been away from football, going on a few Twitter tirades that included criticizing Robert Kraft regarding the charges of solicitation against the Patriots owner. It's unlikely those comments played well with owners around the league.

But talent goes a long way in the NFL, and Brown remains elite. The seven-time Pro Bowler caught 104 passes for 1,297 yards and 15 touchdowns last season and in his one game with the Patriots caught four passes for 56 yards and a score. He would be a major upgrade for a number of contending teams, though he would also bring a litany of off-field concerns to the table. 

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