ESPN's Adam Schefter reported the New Orleans Saints are interested in signing free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is currently under NFL investigation after multiple sexual assault accusations were made against him.
Schefter said the following on ESPN's Sunday NFL Countdown and also provided a report on a workout Brown had with New Orleans on Friday:
"The Saints worked out Antonio Brown on Friday, and he caught every single thing that was thrown to him. He blew away the Saints in the workout, we knew he would.
"The issue is the NFL. The Saints would like to sign Antonio Brown, but they're waiting for the NFL to issue a ruling, and there's been no clarity from the NFL as to when the league might make a ruling on the sexual assault allegations that were levied against Antonio Brown in the NFL's active investigation.
"So as long as the investigation is ongoing, the Saints can't do anything, but they would be interested in signing him, if only he were free."
Brown, 31, is a seven-time Pro Bowler and four-time All-Pro.
He played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2010-2018 but had an acrimonious fallout with the organization en route to a 2019 offseason trade to the Oakland Raiders.
His relationship with the Raiders quickly deteriorated during training camp, notably when he skipped practices in the midst of filing a grievance against the NFL for refusing to let him wear an old helmet no longer allowed by the league.
In early September, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock fined Brown $54,000 for his unexcused absences, and the wideout proceeded to post the letter the GM sent to him on Instagram. Brown also had a confrontation with Mayock on the practice field.
Brown's Raiders tenure ended a few days later.
The Patriots quickly swooped in to sign Brown. However, former trainer Britney Taylor filed a civil lawsuit on Sept. 10 against Brown and said he sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions, per Ben Shpigel of the New York Times.
The Patriots issued the following statement in response.
Brown played Sept. 15 against the Miami Dolphins, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win.
However, more allegations surfaced from a woman commissioned to do artwork for Brown. Robert Klemko of Sports Illustrated (now of the Washington Post) reported the following on Sept. 19:
"A woman who says Antonio Brown made an unwanted sexual advance toward her in 2017 and was fired after not reciprocating received what she characterized as intimidating texts from the Patriots wide receiver on Wednesday night in the wake of a Sports Illustrated story detailing her allegations, according to her lawyer in a letter sent to the NFL on Thursday evening, which included screen shots of the messages."
New England released Brown on Sept. 20 in the midst of those allegations.
Three months later, Brown may soon find a home with the New Orleans Saints. However, Schefter also reported Nov. 9 that Brown wasn't expected to play this season.
He further said the league would be prepared to put him on the commissioner's exempt list if a team signs him before the investigation's conclusion. That would effectively bar Brown from playing until if and when he's removed from the list and given active status.