Antonio Brown hasn’t simply crashed the NFL’s 100th birthday celebration, he’s hijacked it.
The league deliberate in this season being a six-month party of its highest video games, greatest names and maximum iconic moments. As a substitute, it’s going to be all about AB, and there’s no longer a rattling factor the NFL, the New England Patriots and even the iron-handed Invoice Belichick can do about it.
Brown’s former instructor accused the receiver of rape, sexual attack and sexual harassment in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday in Florida. It’s a long way too quickly to make a judgment at the allegations; there are textual content messages that, if unique, are troubling, whilst Brown’s lawyer known as the allegations a “cash grasp” and mentioned any sexual encounters have been consensual.
It is going to be weeks, and much more likely months, earlier than there’s any solution to the lawsuit. Which means that the NFL and the Patriots are caught with this unending sideshow.
Regardless of how again and again Belichick tries to stonewall and say the Patriots are directly to whoever they’re taking part in that week, it received’t prevent the questions on Brown. Anytime Commissioner Roger Goodell seems in public, he’ll be requested for an replace at the vast receiver or to evaluate the quite a lot of imaginable results.
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At each and every sport and each and every observe, Brown can be below a microscope, his frame language and interactions with Tom Brady and Belichick assessed and debated for even the slightest trace of bother or discord.
And that is the reason assuming Brown does not create any new dramas. Just right good fortune with that.
The NFL needed to have was hoping the AB circus would fold its tents as soon as he signed with the Patriots. Belichick doesn’t make allowances for any individual, even Brady, and the belief was once that Brown would toe the road simply as Randy Moss and Chad Johnson did.
Any one who truly believed that hasn’t been paying consideration the closing six months. Heck, simply the closing six days must were sufficient.
The Oakland Raiders idea they’d the deal of the century after they bought Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers for what was once necessarily a bag of footballs. However the Raiders quickly discovered in the market’s a worth to pay for Brown’s colossal skills.
First it was once the cryotherapy long gone improper, which left Brown with frost-bitten ft. Then it was once the holdout over no longer having the ability to put on his loved however out of date helmet. No faster had that been resolved than Brown threw a tantrum over fines imposed by way of common supervisor Mike Mayock.
A contrite Brown apologized to his teammates and trainer Jon Gruden mentioned he would play in Monday evening’s opener. Lower than 24 hours later, Brown was once long gone, minimize after taking to Instagram and important the Raiders unencumber him.
A couple of hours later, Brown introduced he would signal with the Patriots.
“It is helping everyone you probably have nice gamers which are sharing the weight of a difficult soccer season,” Brady mentioned Sunday evening. “We’re all excited to have him.”
That was once then. Now, it’s a dumpster fireplace threatening to suck up all the oxygen within the NFL for the foreseeable long run. Consider the Patriots’ entire rout of the Steelers? The “Are you able to most sensible this?” closing minute of the Texans-Saints sport Monday evening? Yeah. I didn’t assume so.
Undoubtedly the NFL and, almost definitely, the Patriots are wishing they may make this all pass away. However Goodell can’t droop Brown, no longer with out some evidence there’s advantage to the lawsuit. If the Patriots minimize Brown, they’d be out the $nine million they gave him as a signing bonus.
No league instructions consideration just like the NFL. But it surely has met its fit, after which some, with Antonio Brown.
Observe USA TODAY Sports activities columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.