There could still be a good chance for Antonio Brown to return to the New England Patriots if the team’s owner would sign off on the move, a new report claims.
The controversial wide receiver spent less than two weeks on the Patriots roster earlier this season, joining New England after engineering his exit from the Oakland Raiders. He was later released after playing just one game. Brown had come under intense scrutiny after a series of sexual misconduct claims and reports that he sent intimidating texts to one of the accusers while he was inside the Patriots facility.
But there could still be a glimmer of hope for a return to the Patriots, a new report from CBS Sports claims. As reporter Jason La Canfora noted, there is some push within the Patriots team to bring Brown back onto the roster. He added that New England “players and coaches would welcome him back,” though did not specify which players or coaches that might be.
There would still be some significant road blocks to Brown returning to the Patriots — or to the NFL at all. He still faces a league investigation over the sexual misconduct claims, and could be given a possible suspension that would not go into effect until he signs with another team.
Brown would also need to win the support of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who was reportedly the driving force behind Brown’s release after Week 2 this season. Brown took aim at Kraft in a Twitter rant after his release, making what appeared to be a reference to allegations that Kraft solicited a prostitute.
As La Canfora noted, Kraft “has not shown an inclination to give the receiver another shot after his repeated missteps on social media in the aftermath of his release by the Patriots months ago.”
If Kraft could reconsider, Brown may have a good chance of returning, the report noted.
“However, if Kraft were to reconsider, sources said Brown’s teammates and coaches would support bringing him back, with Brown’s chemistry with Tom Brady obvious from his initial practice with the team and Brown getting along well with all parties during his brief stint there.”
It’s not clear if Brown would be able to return this season, however. The NFL has wide latitude to hand down discipline for off-the-field incidents, and has in the past handed down long suspensions to players accused of sexual abuse or domestic violence.