Report: Antonio Brown Not Expected to Return to NFL in 2019

Publish date:

Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown is "not expected to play" in 2019, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter

Brown will meet with the NFL on Thursday to discuss sexual assault allegations against him. He was accused of rape on Sept. 10 by his former trainer Britney Taylor in the last of three alleged incidents of sexual misconduct. 

The four-time All-Pro will likely be placed on the commissioner's exempt list if he is signed by a team before the end of the 2019 season. He would not play while the NFL completes its investigation into Brown's alleged assaults.

Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus said he is "confide Brown will return to the field in 2019. 

“I'm confident Antonio will play again this season," Rosenhaus told Schefter. "I believe the NFL should clear him after they interview him this week and I expect he will be signed shortly after that.”

Brown played one game for the Patriots in 2019 before being released by New England on Sept. 20. He caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in a win over Miami. 

The Patriots signed Brown following his release from the Raiders. Oakland traded for Brown in March in a deal with Pittsburgh, but cut him after the preseason following a string of incidents. Brown was injured for much of the preseason after injuring his feet in a cryotherapy chamber, and he threatened to retire over a helmet grievance against the NFL. 

Brown has 75 career touchdowns in 131 games. He tallied 100-plus catches in six straight years from 2013-18.