Patriots

NFL seems determined to keep Antonio Brown sidelined

NFL seems determined to keep Antonio Brown sidelined

Antonio Brown was reduced last week to standing in Robert Kraft’s driveway with a boombox over his head, pleading to be welcomed back.

The ending for AB doesn’t figure to be as happy as it was for John Cusack’s “Say Anything” character.

It isn’t Kraft – who was strafed by Brown with embarrassing tweets on the Sunday after his release – that put Brown on ice. It’s the NFL which has quietly put Brown’s playing future in a box on a shelf in a locked closet.

When Brown was released by the Patriots, the NFL released a statement as well.

“Antonio Brown was released today by the New England Patriots and is currently an unrestricted free agent. Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation. We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously. As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”

In essence, he’s on ice. Any team that looks at its roster and figures this player that’s left destruction in his wake in three cities over nine months is a good fit has to also realize the threat levied by the NFL is real.

In order for Brown to return and hijack everyone’s attention, the NFL has to finish its investigation. And – with Brown having cost three franchises (and their ownership) lotsa money, lotsa headaches and lotsa embarrassment – they will be in no hurry to do so.

The NFL still hasn’t interviewed Brown for his version of events relative to allegations made by Britney Taylor. And it’s not like Brown interviews well anyway.

So they can let him dangle while Brown pleads to be let back in.

It’s ingenious, really. Because if they conclude the investigation and Brown remains unsigned despite the fact every damn head coach, quarterback and personnel man in the league would gladly embrace him, that brings up the C-word owners hate to hear. Collusion.

Soon after Brown’s suspension, Charles Robinson wrote a piece for Yahoo in which a league executive told him this: “That’s [commissioner Roger] Goodell saying, ‘Don’t sign Antonio Brown. And if you do, we’re going to put him on the [exempt] list anyway.’ I don’t know that anyone is really interested in him at this point with all this stuff going on, but that [statement] has got to make you think twice when you might be signing him and taking the heat for it and then he’s not even available to play for you. Why go through that?”

Since the Patriots cut him, Brown’s sporadic screams for attention are still well-chronicled. But they are mere curiosities. They have no more impact than a bird flying into a window. You notice it. Shake your head. And return to what you’re doing.

For Brown to get back in the league in 2019 it’s going to take way more than trying to talk Instagram “sense” to the Patriots.

As SI’s Michael McCann noted, “If Antonio Brown wants to resolve his off-field issues, he'll need to reach financial settlement agreements with everyone who is suing him or who could sue him, and get them to sign non-disclosures so they don't talk to NFL. Had he done so before, he might still be a NE Patriot.”

He’s not going to do that. And that means the NFL will have no urgency to finish its investigation which – almost inevitably – will yield enough for them to conclude Brown belongs on the exempt list at the least, suspended at the most.

We’ll dutifully keep taking the bait every time Brown posts though. Because, just as Brown is standing in Kraft’s driveway with a boombox over his head, so is the media standing in Brown’s driveway in the same posture, just begging him to give us something to cover.

No more "yeah, buts" - the Patriots defense is really this good>>>

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Chiefs rule out Damien Williams, leaving thin RB depth chart vs. Patriots

Chiefs rule out Damien Williams, leaving thin RB depth chart vs. Patriots

The Kansas City Chiefs started the season with two running backs named "D. Williams."

They'll have zero against the New England Patriots on Sunday.

The Chiefs have ruled out Damien Williams for Sunday's game at Gillette Stadium due to a rib injury, head coach Andy Reid confirmed Friday.

Williams also missed Kansas City's Week 13 game due to injury, and his absence means the Chiefs are down to two active running backs: With Darrel Williams hitting injured reserve earlier this week, only LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson are healthy.

McCoy is Kansas City's lead rusher this season, with 410 yards on 84 attempts. He saw just five carries last Sunday, though, as Thompson led all Chiefs backs with 44 yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

The Chiefs haven't been particularly effective on the ground this season, ranking 20th in the NFL in yards per carry (4.2) and 24th in yards per game (94.5).

That they won't have two of their top three running backs in rush attempts Sunday likely won't help that cause, and could help the Patriots' defense focus its efforts on slowing down superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City passing attack.

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Antonio Brown apologizes, begs for forgiveness in latest plea to return to NFL

Antonio Brown apologizes, begs for forgiveness in latest plea to return to NFL

It looks like Antonio Brown is making a final plea to re-join the NFL, possibly with the New England Patriots. 

In his latest Instagram post (which is lengthy) Brown apologizes to everyone he hurt over the past year or so, including his friends, family and anyone he offended. Tom Brady, of course, liked the photo and Hall of Fame cornerback Deion Sanders commented with the goat emoji. 

View this post on Instagram

First and foremost, I’d like to apologize to my family, friends and anyone who I offended. I never once meant to make anyone feel like I wasn’t thankful and appreciative of the opportunity that I was afforded to play the game I love. I’ve worked hard over the years to earn a chance to compete in the greatest game on earth. Over the years I was met with challenges and I can honestly say I didn’t handle those challenges in the manner that I should have. Over the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to think about everything that’s transpired and I am deeply sorry to all who I’ve offended. While my behavior was inexcusable, sometimes when people are coming at you with false information and allegations, we handle ourselves in ways that we sometimes regret. I do take full responsibility for my actions and I’m working everyday to repair what I broke. I do know that if I’m ever given the opportunity to play the game that I love, I’m going to work extremely hard to show the world how much I appreciate another chance. To the organizations that I offended, I offer my sincere apology to you and my hope is that you forgive me and help me move on from this minor setback. I look forward to competing and helping a team reach their goals.

A post shared by Boomin (@ab) on

Earlier this week, Sanders guaranteed the Patriots would be getting help in the receiver department. While former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant has tweeted some interesting things lately alluding to possibly joining the Patriots, could Sanders be talking about him or Brown? 

The 31-year-old's apology doesn't guarantee him a spot on an NFL roster, but with this latest post, he could be clearing the way for a possible comeback soon. Or it's just AB being the same old AB with yet another social media post? Probably the latter. 

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