Antonio Brown Undergoing Therapy and More Details from ESPN's Feature on WR

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

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

Former All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown has been undergoing therapy following his release by the New England Patriots in September.  

In a feature story by ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Brown told his father, Eddie, earlier this year that he had started to receive treatment. 

"He understands something may be going on, and he's going to see about it," Eddie told Fowler. "If there is or isn't, he'll find out. But he's not sitting around doing nothing. ... That come-to-Jesus moment came home."

It's unclear what kind of therapy or how frequently Brown has been receiving treatment.

Family members and some of his former teammates expressed to Fowler the "complex duality" to Brown's personality. He was described as "compassionate, kind, understanding and beloved in a locker room," but could also become "erratic, paranoid and prone to mood swings."

"Now his family and friends say he's working on himself, but it's hard to tell whether Brown is making real, concerted changes to turn his life around," Fowler wrote.

Nigel Dunn, Brown's high school coach, described Brown as having "almost like a double personality" and a "distraction" when he wasn't on a football field. 

Over the course of his nine years with the Pittsburgh Steelers, two of Brown's former teammates said head coach Mike Tomlin created special rules for the star wideout that they would "rethink" if his production began to slip.

Fowler also noted the ways Brown would often test the different standards that Pittsburgh had set for him:

"Even with the relaxed barricades around him, Brown often welcomed conflict, which many teammates noticed in his love-hate relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. If Brown had a problem, he wouldn't hold back in voicing his frustration, including once when Roethlisberger tried to enforce his no-music policy in the locker room. 'F--- you, cracker,' Brown responded, according to one Steeler. The two usually hashed things out, but Brown's in-your-face, confrontational style became exhausting to some players who just wanted to come to work without issue."

"With [Brown], it's either hot or cold," former Steelers running back Josh Harris told Fowler. "If he's in a good mood, he's in a great one, having a good time. Then you'll see him another day, you'll see his face and you don't really want to say a lot because you know something has happened."

Off the field, one source told Fowler that Brown thinks of himself as a "business mogul" despite stories about him being unreliable with payments for services.

"Brown entices prospective members of Team AB with big promises but grows hesitant to pay for weeks or months of work, while sometimes expecting contractors to cover their own travel," wrote Fowler.

Brown has also had a number of situations in which police were involved, including 20 trips by Northern Regional Police in Pennsylvania to his house from 2014-18 for various incidents:

"Several incidents were minor in nature, such as fire alarms going off, but others involved a series of random events, such as Brown trying to locate two of his cars. Brown also alleged theft of $50,000, jewelry, passports and a handgun by a former associate. There was a forgery case on a Bank of America account owned by Brown, and a contractor called police in an attempt to retrieve payment for installing Brown's pool fence."

In September, Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, said in a civil lawsuit he sexually assaulted her on two occasions in 2017 and raped her in 2018. He was also accused of sexual misconduct by an artist who didn't press charges, per Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko.

Through attorney Darren Heitner, Brown has denied all of the accusations. 

Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the NFL has met with both of Brown's accusers. The league's investigation remains ongoing. 

ESPN's Jeff Darlington previously reported Brown refused to sign a settlement with Taylor worth more than $2 million before her civil lawsuit was filed. Talks between the two sides began "as early as April and included two mediations" to arrive at that amount.

One source told Fowler that settlement offer "was at the one-yard line" until Brown decided not to sign off on it. 

If Brown returns to the NFL, he remains subject to potential discipline under the league's personal conduct policy. The 31-year-old said the league is "holding players out against their will" on Twitter earlier this month:

AB @AB84

Guess all mighty @nfl can hold players out against there will no criminal charges pending nothing but A Caucasian player gets a domestic go to jail still out there playing targeted hate against us everywhere my peeps

Fowler cited people around the NFL who believe Brown won't play in the league again. Agent Drew Rosenhaus told CNBC's Squawk Alley in October he received interest from teams waiting for the NFL's investigation to conclude. 

Brown played one game for the Patriots this season prior to his release. He caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown on Sept. 15 against the Miami Dolphins.