Antonio Brown might get another shot in the NFL, but one former general manager said that any team that takes a chance on him won’t do so until next season.
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In the words of Jeff Diamond, the former president of the Tennessee Titans and general manager of the Minnesota Vikings, Brown is currently “toxic.” The wide receiver was cut by the New England Patriots last week after text messages surfaced where he threatened a woman who had accused him of sexual assault. This is in addition to a recently filed civil suit alleging he sexually assaulted his trainer, Britney Taylor. He was traded this past offseason from the Pittsburgh Steelers for being a malcontent and cut by the Oakland Raiders after a physical altercation with General Manager Mike Mayock.
The expression in the NFL is “you never quit on talent.” Diamond thinks that Brown’s obvious physical abilities will lead some team to eventually sign the four-time All-Pro.
“History tells you that he probably will get another opportunity at some point and I certainly don’t buy his statement that he’s done with the NFL. I think it is more like the NFL is done with him – temporarily. We’ll see what shakes out,” Diamond told FOX Business.
“That’s the really the reality of the situation. I think that obviously we’ll see how it shakes out, but to me, right now, he needs to get his act together and Drew Rosenhaus, as his agent, better have a heart-to-heart with him … It’s a disaster on so many levels.”
Diamond is convinced that if the legal matters involving Brown are cleared up, then the wide receiver will be in the NFL sooner rather than later. Not as soon as this season, but still in the near future.
Brown, coincidentally, re-enrolled at Central Michigan University.
This idea of a return to the NFL at some point comes against the prevailing mentality that Brown might be out of the league permanently, following not just the ongoing legal matter but also a string of what looks to be irrational behavior. The NFL has kept out players like Ray Rice in the past over domestic issues, freezing out the star running back from ever playing again.
Diamond doesn’t think that will be the case with Brown, a generational wide receiver talent.
“Well I think it depends as to what happens with the allegations of sexual assault -- if nothing comes of it, it’s all just dismissed over time, then that obviously will help his cause. You still got this whole thing with how his behavior was in Oakland and that whole thing and Pittsburgh too. There’s two problems you’ve got to overcome: How he left Pittsburgh, how he left Oakland. There’s a third, of course, with the sexual assault allegations. Those are three major things to overcome,” Diamond said.
“I think he’s done for the year. I think he’s going to try to claim the Raiders [who] owe him some guaranteed money and the Patriots with the signing bonus. He’ll stake his claim for this year but I expect him to land somewhere in 2020. I think he’ll try to end this and all that, if, and that’s a big one, if the sexual assault claims are not substantiated, then I expect him to be back somewhere in 2020.”