Antonio Brown has made overtures to the New England Patriots in the hopes of mending fences, but the Patriots have reportedly made a decision on whether to give the controversial wide receiver another chance.
It’s a hard no.
After Brown made a public apology to the Patriots for his behavior during the brief time he was on the team, Jeff Howe of The Athletic reported that there is zero chance of a reunion and that the team closed the book for good when he was released after Week 2 of the NFL season.
“The book on Antonio Brown’s time with the Patriots closed in September. It will not be reopened,” Howe reported.
“The Patriots won’t be re-signing Brown, a source told The Athletic on Thursday.”
The Patriots had initially jumped at the chance to sign Brown despite his very messy departure from the Oakland Raiders, where he demanded his release after a series of social media outbursts against the team. Brown had signed with New England just moments after he officially hit free agency, and it appeared that the Patriots had cemented their status as the frontrunner to return to the Super Bowl for what would be a record-tying fourth straight time.
But Brown would last less than two weeks, being released by the Patriots amid a series of sexual misconduct allegations including reports that he had sent a threatening text message to one of the women. Days after his release, Brown took to Twitter to attack both the league and the Patriots specifically, including what appeared to be a dig at team owner Robert Kraft’s prostitution arrest.
During the Twitter outburst, the All Pro wide receiver said he was done playing in the NFL, but has since gone back on it and several times hinted that the Patriots should take him back.
“Sources told [ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler] that Brown would wait to sign with a team until it is clear he would be allowed to play,” an October report from ESPN noted.
“He’s also been training rigorously and would welcome a return to the New England Patriots, even if that’s unlikely, but most of all, he says he just wants to play.”
While the book appears to be closed on Brown returning to the Patriots, there is still speculation that another team will take a chance on him once the league clarifies his playing status. Brown is still facing an NFL investigation for the sexual misconduct allegations and could face potential suspension, which would not go into effect until he signs with a new team.