Patriots

Just what is the NFL commissioner's exempt list?

Just what is the NFL commissioner's exempt list?

FOXBORO -- There is a way for the NFL to take any decision regarding Antonio Brown's availability out of Bill Belichick's hands. The league could place Antonio Brown on the commissioner's exempt list, which is, in effect, paid leave. 

While on the commissioner's exempt list, a player is paid as if he were on the active roster, yet he does not count against his team's 53-man active roster limit. A player on the exempt list is not allowed to practice or attend games, but he is allowed to be present at the facility for meetings, to work out, and to receive treatment. 

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell would be the one to determine whether or not Brown should be placed on the exempt list after being accused of sexual assault in a civil suit filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of Florida. The Washington Post reported that league leaders planned to meet on Wednesday to discuss Brown's situation and if placing him on the exempt list would be appropriate.

The Patriots would have no authority to place Brown on the exempt list, according to the NFL Player Personnel Policy Manual. 

"The Exempt List is a special player status available to clubs only in unusual circumstances," NFL.com points out, citing the league's manual. "The List includes those players who have been declared by the Commissioner to be temporarily exempt from counting within the Active List limit. Only the Commissioner has the authority to place a player on the Exempt List; clubs have no such authority, and no exemption, regardless of circumstances, is automatic. 

"The Commissioner also has the authority to determine in advance whether a player's time on the Exempt List will be finite or will continue until the Commissioner deems the exemption should be lifted and the player returned to the Active List."

The league could opt to suspend Brown under the league's personal conduct policy, which does not require a criminal charge or conviction. (Brown has not been formally charged with or convicted of a crime.) But the league, especially recently, has generally opted to wait for legal proceedings to play out before suspending a player under the personal conduct policy.

Michael Vick (2009), Jonathan Vilma (2012), Adrian Peterson (2014), Greg Hardy (2014), Josh Brown (2016), Reuben Foster (2018) and Kareem Hunt (2018) have all landed on the commissioner's exempt list in recent years.

The NFL will conduct an investigation regarding the allegations against Brown, the Patriots announced in a statement late Tuesday night. The Post reported Wednesday that it is unclear whether or not the league would have a decision on whether or not Brown would be placed on the exempt list by the time the Patriots and Dolphins play their Week 2 game in Miami on Sunday afternoon. 

Brown is expected to practice with the Patriots for the first time Wednesday.

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N'Keal Harry brings up missed TD call again while adopting Patriots mantra

N'Keal Harry brings up missed TD call again while adopting Patriots mantra

N'Keal Harry has moved on from his non-touchdown Sunday.

Well, almost.

The New England Patriots wide receiver had a score taken away from him in fourth quarter the Kansas City Chiefs when the referees incorrectly ruled him out of bounds at the 3-yard line.

The Patriots had no challenges remaining at the time, so the play stood as called despite "everybody" thinking it was a touchdown, as an exasperated Harry explained to reporters after New England's 23-16 loss.

On Monday morning, the rookie wide receiver reminded everybody of this fact by tweeting photo evidence of him staying in bounds on the play.

While the photos may have been one last parting jab at the officials, Harry's caption is straight out of the Patriots' "moving on" playbook.

New England famously adopted "On To Cincinnati" as a mantra after a brutal loss to Kansas City in 2014, and it worked, as the team rallied to win a Super Bowl.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dusted off that rallying cry Monday morning, as well.

The 1-12 Bengals do offer New England the perfect bounce-back opportunity in Week 15, but Brady and Co. still need more from Harry if they want to get their offense back on track.

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Tom Brady shares his side of beef with Chris Jones in Patriots-Chiefs

Tom Brady shares his side of beef with Chris Jones in Patriots-Chiefs

Chris Jones' respect for Tom Brady didn't stop him from getting all up in his grill Sunday.

The Chiefs defensive lineman had a heated exchange with the Patriots quarterback late in the second half after Kansas City's defense forced a New England incompletion on third down. (You can watch the exchange here.)

Jones later said he was trying to make Brady uncomfortable by getting into with the GOAT.

So, how did Brady feel about Jones' tactics?

"We were going at it for a little bit. He was pretty talkative out there, so I think there's a healthy rivalry," Brady told WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show" on Monday.

Brady wouldn't reveal what Jones said to him -- "definitely nothing that I can really repeat" -- but admitted he took Jones' bait by engaging with the boisterous defensive lineman.

"I typically don't try to make the d-linemen any more angry than they probably already are with me, because they're the ones that get paid to hit me," Brady joked. "So, I don't really give them any incentive typically, but I couldn't really resist at certain points."

Perhaps Brady's back-and-forth with Jones was his way of venting his frustration with the Patriots' offense, which is averaging just 17.6 points per game over its last five contests and looked anemic in Sunday's 23-16 loss to Kansas City.

Jones played some role in New England's struggles, recording a sack, a tackle-for-loss and a QB hit on Brady. But the 42-year-old quarterback believes the Patriots' offense has plenty of room for improvement, regardless of what defense it faces.

"I wish there was one magic thing that you could do and it would just change everything, but there's not," Brady said. "It really comes down to all of us, 11 as a unit, executing well."

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