New England Patriots and NFL fans better get ready because it looks like Antonio Brown will play on Sunday. According to Dan Patrick of his eponymous talk show, Brown will not be placed on the Commissioner's Exempt list despite being hit with a sexual assault lawsuit. So barring anything drastically happening this weekend, Brown will play on Sunday when the Patriots take on the Miami Dolphins.
What Patrick reported was confirmed by Adam Schefter of ESPN. The league is investigating the matter, but as of now, Brown has not being criminally investigated with anything.
"At this point, NFL will not place Antonio Brown on commissioner exempt list, as there is no criminal investigation, making him eligible to play Sunday vs. Miami, per sources," Schefter said. "NFL has opened its investigation, which will include interviews with Antonio Brown and his accuser.
Brown was hit with the lawsuit on Tuesday evening just one day after he signed a one-year, $15 million contract with the Patriots. The accuser, Britney Taylor, is Brown's former trainer and the two first met when they attended Central Michigan University. Taylor said Brown assaulted her three different times, but she never filed a police report. She is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week.
So far, the only statement Brown has made on the lawsuit is through his lawyers.
"Mr. Brown denies each and every allegation in the lawsuit. He will pursue all legal remedies to not only clear his name, but to also protect other professional athletes against false accusations," the statement said. "Mr. Brown was approached by his accuser in 2017, shortly after Mr. Brown signed a contract making him the highest-paid wide receiver in the NFL.
"At that time, Mr. Brown was asked to invest $1.6 million dollars in the accuser’s business project.Mr. Brown was not informed by his accuser that she had just been levied with a $30,000 IRS tax lien or that $300,000 of the $1.6 million so-called “investment” was to be used to purchase property already owned by the accuser and her mother.
"When Mr. Brown refused to make the $1.6 million “investment,” the accuser supposedly cut off communications with Mr. Brown. However, in 2018, the accuser resurfaced and offered to travel to Pennsylvania and South Florida to train Mr. Brown for the upcoming season."
Brown was signed by the Patriots after being cut by the Oakland Raiders last weekend. Before joining the Raiders earlier this year, Brown was a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers where he was named to the Pro Bowl seven times and he made the All-Pro team five times.