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Antonio Brown Rumors: Patriots Players, Coaches Open to WR Returning to NE

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2019

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots in action against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown/Getty Images

If Antonio Brown is reinstated by the NFL, New England Patriots coaches and players would reportedly "welcome him back," according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. 

The question, of course, is whether team owner Robert Kraft would do the same after Brown ripped Kraft on social media in September after the Patriots cut him, posting about the solicitation charges against Kraft. 

Per La Canfora, Kraft "is the deciding factor, and has not shown an inclination to give the receiver another shot after his repeated missteps on social media in the aftermath of his release by the Patriots months ago." 

Brown didn't only take aim at Kraft in his Twitter tirades. He also took shots at Ben Roethlisberger, the NFL at large, twice said he was done playing in the league before recanting on those statements and had fiery online exchanges with NFL players like Golden Tate, Eric Weddle and Baker Mayfield.

Suffice to say, Brown hasn't exactly put his best foot forward online since he was cut from the Patriots in September. Brown was released after his former trainer Britney Taylor said in a lawsuit he sexually assaulted her three times, including rape on one occasion. 

Another woman said Brown hit on her in his home while he was undressed save for a small towel covering his genitals. The woman had been commissioned to do a painting for Brown. After that report became public, the woman said that Brown sent her "intimidating" text messages.

The NFL has been investigating Brown and suggested he could be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List if he was signed by a team before the investigation concluded. 

But despite Brown's Twitter tirades and the fact he forced his way off of two teams in one offseason before landing in New England, he remains an elite talent and reportedly still has interest from multiple teams around the league.

The Patriots apparently are one of the teams, with "Brown's chemistry with Tom Brady obvious from his initial practice with the team and Brown getting along well with all parties during his brief stint there," per La Canfora.

The Patriots, quite simply, lack for dynamic weapons on offense. Wide receiver in particular has been a major weakness, with the talent level at the position falling off after Julian Edelman. Brown would be an enormous upgrade for the team if he's cleared by the NFL.

And more importantly, if Kraft is willing to take him back.