In the NFL, as long as you can play, you will be welcomed back no matter your past transgressions (unless you're Colin Kaepernick). It appears that rule, one as old as time, also applies to Antonio Brown.
The former Raiders and Patriots receiver has been out of the NFL since New England released him prior to Week 3, but the star receiver's time in New England might not be over, as players and coaches would welcome the four-time All-Pro back to New England, CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reported Sunday morning, citing league sources.
Per La Canfora, the decision ultimately will be made by owner Robert Kraft, who Brown insulted following his release. The six-time Pro Bowler later apologized to Kraft and the Patriots in a tweet, but it's unclear how that message was received.
Brown's former trained Britney Taylor filed a federal civil lawsuit against the receiver alleging he sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions. Brown also sent threatening text messages to an anonymous woman who told Sports Illustrated the receiver made unwanted sexual advances towards her. After those texts came to light, the Patriots cut ties with Brown.
The NFL still is investigating Brown's misconduct and while no team is prohibited from signing him, most clubs would like to wait until a decision on Brown's future has been made before bringing him into the building.
From a Patriots perspective, Brady and the offense have struggled in recent weeks. Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu and Phillip Dorsett have been banged up, while Josh Gordon was released and later signed with the Seahawks.
Brown and Brady were on the same page during his lone game with the Patriots, and there's no doubt the 42-year-old would like to have a dynamic weapon as he looks to win his seventh Super Bowl.
Even if Brown returns to the NFL this season, it won't be to wear Silver and Black after he burned every bridge imaginable on his way out and then asked quarterback Derek Carr to send the Rolex Brown gave him to Brady.