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NFL releases a statement on Antonio Brown’s status

Antonio Brown currently finds himself without a job. If just one team chooses to ignore the myriad controversies surrounding the six-time Pro Bowler to offer him a contract, though, the NFL will allow Brown to take the field – for now, at least.

In a statement following his release by the New England Patriots on Thursday, the league office made it clear that while Brown would not immediately be placed on the Commissioner’s exempt list whether or not he signs with another team, it will take swift action if investigators uncover evidence in multiple probes alleging wrongdoing.

Shortly after the Patriots signed him earlier this month, Britney Taylor, a longtime friend and former trainer of Brown, told Sports Illustrated she was suing the superstar wide receiver for multiple instances of sexual assault, including rape. Taylor provided screenshots of text messages purportedly sent by Brown in which he seemed to admit sexual misconduct.

Less than a week later, SI published a wide-ranging story on Brown’s misdeeds, including another instance of alleged sexual assault. The accuser, an artist who Brown commissioned to paint a mural of him, later told SI that Brown purportedly sent her threatening group text messages, which led to the NFL broadening the scope of its investigation.

New England signed Brown on September 7, mere hours after his acrimonious release from the Oakland Raiders. He was ineligible to play in the season-opener, but made his presence felt during his Patriots debut a week later, catching four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown.

In a statement released on Friday, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, indicated that his client has every intention of playing in the NFL again this season.