Antonio Brown could soon be getting yet another chance at an NFL team.
The All Pro wide receiver, who was released by the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots in a span of less than two weeks at the start of the NFL season, is reportedly hoping to play again this year and NFL insiders believe that interest will pick up significantly after the trade deadline passes. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reported that there are a number of teams that could be interested in Brown, who has still played at a high level despite a string of off-the-field incidents.
“Once the deadline passes, expect interest to pick up for Brown, who, despite still being the focus of a league investigation into the various allegations against him, made an immediate impact in the one game he played in New England and would be a substantial upgrade over many starting receivers, assuming he manages to actually stay on a roster,” La Canfora reported.
“Besides the Patriots, the 49ers, Saints, Ravens, Colts and Packers are contending teams that could benefit by the addition of another pass catching option.”
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, added that he believes Brown will sign with another team this season. There could be some complications even after that happens, however. Brown is still the subject of a league investigation related to allegations of sexual misconduct against him, as well as reports that he sent intimidating text messages to one of the accusers. That means he could face a potential suspension after he signs with a new team.
The Patriots released Brown amid the allegations, and he responded days later with a Twitter outburst where he called out both the team and owner Robert Kraft. Brown also said at the time that he was done with the NFL, though he took back his word a few days later and said he wanted to find another team this year.
It is not clear if any teams have reached out to Brown about potentially signing him, but as La Canfora noted there is still expected to be some movement of wide receivers before the trade deadline. Cincinnati Bengals star A.J. Green is still a likely candidate for a trade, as he is in the last year of his contract and the winless Bengals look to be moving into a rebuilding phase. Brown could also be competing with former Patriots teammate Josh Gordon, who was placed on IR by the Patriots on Wednesday but is expected to be ruled eligible to play and become a free agent.