The Patriots were just as shocked as everyone else by the sexual assault and rape lawsuit filed against Antonio Brown on Tuesday.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports New England was "caught by surprise" and "will have to decide how to proceed" with their newly-signed wide receiver.

Also noted in Schefter's piece is the possibility Roger Goodell could place Brown on the commissioner's exempt list -- preventing Brown from being on the active roster -- while the NFL investigates the allegations.

Brown was officially signed by the Patriots on Monday after being released by the Raiders over the weekend. The 31-year-old spent nine seasons with the Steelers before being traded to Oakland and eventually requesting his release.

The Patriots released an official statement on the matter, but the NFL has yet to officially comment on the allegations against Brown.

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