Stephen A. Smith Says Antonio Brown Should Use 'Insanity Plea'

Antonio Brown is not on an NFL team at the moment and may not return during the 2019 season, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. The longtime insider revealed on Sunday morning that multiple teams expect the 31-year-old receiver to be out of action for the foreseeable future, putting his return in 2019 in doubt. Stephen A. Smith, co-host of ESPN's First Take, has since responded to this news and believes that Brown should take a new stance with his defense.

"The best defense for Antonio Brown is damn near an insanity plea," Smith said on Monday. "Right now, he needs to come up with some kind of insanity plea cuz there's no other excuse."

Smith did admit that he was being a bit facetious with the term "insanity plea," but his point was that it is hard for Brown to justify some of his actions with the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Oakland Raiders, and the New England Patriots.

As examples of his point, Smith discussed the two separate instances in which Brown threw JuJu Smith-Schuster "under the bus" and the phone call with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden that he recorded. Both of these scenarios, while vastly different, created concern in Smith and made him question what was the root cause of this behavior.

Was Brown suffering from trauma earlier in life? Was he dealing with CTE? Was he simply insane? The answer was not apparent, but Smith feels that the only way to come back from the past months of controversy is to use the insanity plea.

Whether or not this is a possible avenue is irrelevant at this point. Brown saw Smith's comments and has since responded to them in his Instagram stories. The veteran receiver posted a photo of his TV and Smith, along with the caption "ain't not f------ way. We ain't come to play."

For now, it appears that he will be moving forward toward his meeting the league investigators while presenting his side of the various situations. He will not be using an insanity plea, per Smith's request, and will instead use a more straightforward strategy.

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How the meetings progress could play a major role in his bid to return to the NFL in the coming weeks. Brown's future with the league is tenuous, it's unclear as to if he will soon be back.

(Photo Credit: Noah Graham/NBAE/Getty)