Antonio Brown no longer has an NFL team to play for after the New England Patriots cut him on Friday, but the investigation against him rolls on.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported on Sunday morning that the NFL has met with the second woman accusing Brown of sexual assault. They finished up meeting with her just as the Patriots were cutting Brown.
Second accuser alleges unwanted exposure
The woman, an artist, was originally hired by Brown to paint a mural in his home after he took a liking to a portrait she painted of him. Once she got to his home to paint the mural, Brown allegedly walked up behind her naked with only a small towel covering his genitals. Brown also allegedly failed to pay her for the majority of the work she did.
After the artist came forward with her allegations, Sports Illustrated’s Robert Klemko reported that Brown had contacted her via text, sending pictures of her children and intimidating messages in a group chat. According to Rapoport, the artist has provided these text messages and other materials to the NFL as part of their investigation.
AB avoids exempt list as long as he’s a free agent
With the investigation and possible punishment hanging over his head, teams are unlikely to sign Brown until the NFL has completed their investigation. He has not been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, but that’s because he’s currently a free agent. As the NFL said in a statement on Friday, he could be placed on that list if a team signs him.
The NFL has given no timeline for when they might finish their investigation. With Brown not currently signed with a team, there is less time pressure since no team is depending on him to be on the field. In a statement, the NFL has said "the investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously."
Sources told Rapoport that the Patriots wouldn’t have signed Brown if they’d known about the “pending issues.” Once they knew about the sexual assault allegations they did not cut him, though. A second woman accusing him of sexual assault didn’t lead to his immediate exit from the team, either. The Patriots only cut him after texts surfaced that showed Brown trying to intimidate his second accuser.
The Pats cut Brown just days before $5 million of his $9 million bonus was due. While all $9 million of that bonus was supposed to be guaranteed, Yahoo Sports’ Charles Robinson wrote last week that there is language in his contract that could void the entire bonus, enabling the Patriots to deny him that money.
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