Sunday morning, NFL insider Ian Rapoport provided some updates on the sexual assault allegations facing Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown. The most important detail was that Brown's accuser, Britney Taylor, would be meeting with the NFL on Monday to provide her side of the story. This will kickstart a very quick, but thorough process in which the league also meets with Brown and an unnamed rookie.
As it turns out, however, this was not the only update provided about Brown's legal situation. Reporter Jeff Darlington also provided an expanded timeline for these allegations. As he explained, Brown and Taylor entered into settlement discussions last May, which included two separate mediation sessions. There was a timeline set for this past Sunday for Brown to sign a contract that would pay his accuser more than $2 million dollars and would make the allegations disappear.
Antonio Brown entered into settlement discussions in April, which included mediation in May, culminating in a deadline last Sunday night to sign a monetary agreement that would end the sexual assault claims against him. He chose not to sign it.
More from Sunday NFL Countdown: pic.twitter.com/ybuPxivyuf— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 15, 2019
Ultimately, Brown did not sign the contract prior to the deadline, and Taylor's lawyer filed the suit two days later. This brought the allegations to the public's attention and created controversy around the Patriots wide receiver.
The fascinating aspect of this new timeline is that Rapoport explained on Sunday that the Patriots and the NFL had no prior knowledge of the allegations and that New England would not have signed him had this information come to light. Was this accurate? There were many rumors swirling about Brown facing these allegations, including private DMs between him and a mystery individual.
Obviously, rumors and posts on social media do not count as actual evidence of wrongdoing, but there is still the possibility of the league taking notice. There is no way to determine if the Patriots truly were unaware of Brown's pending legal issues, but there will continue to be multiple comments on social media about the Patriots and their "shady" business dealings.
This situation does not paint Brown in the best light, and there is a possibility that he could ultimately be put on the commissioner's exempt list based on how the investigation plays out. For now, the new Patriots receiver will try to become the top options for quarterback Tom Brady.