Antonio Brown suspended 8 games by NFL

The NFL has come to a decision regarding Antonio Brown. The league announced Friday that the free agent wideout will be suspended without pay for the first eight games of the 2020 season.

The 32-year-old Brown’s suspension will begin Week 1, even if Brown is not on an NFL team. The NFL can extend Brown’s suspension depending on what happens in Brown’s civil suit, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Brown has not played in the NFL since Week 2 of last season. He played one game with the New England Patriots before the team cut Brown amid rape and sexual misconduct accusations. Brown was also arrested in January following an incident with a delivery driver. Brown was charged with battery and burglary. He pleaded no contest and received two years probation.

On July 22, Brown asked NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to conclude the league’s investigation into Brown. Shortly after the Patriots released Brown, Goodell told every NFL team Brown would be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list if he signed. The league intended to keep Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list until it completed its investigation.

Will an NFL team sign Antonio Brown?

From 2011 to 2018, Brown was one of the best receivers in football. Things changed quickly once he left the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown feuded with Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden, eventually getting himself released before the team’s first regular-season game. Brown also argued with the league over wearing a new helmet.

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Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
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Antonio Brown with the New England Patriots
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) greets wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) scores a touchdown as Miami Dolphins cornerback Jomal Wiltz (33) attempts to defend, during the first half at an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots celebrates his first down catch during the first quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
MIAMI , MA. - SEPTEMBER 15: Tom Brady #12 and Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots bump fists during the second quarter of the NFL game against the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami , Florida. (Staff Photo By Matt Stone/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown to practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown works out during NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, left, walks on the field near wide receiver Antonio Brown (1) as Brown works out during an NFL football practice, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019, in Foxborough, Mass. Brown practiced with the team for the first time on Wednesday afternoon, a day after his former trainer filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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Brown was picked up by the Patriots, where he lasted one game before he was cut after being accused of sexual misconduct.

Despite that, Brown has draw interest from Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson. Brown and Jackson threw together in the offseason, and Jackson has lobbied for the Ravens to sign Brown. Ravens coach John Harbaugh said he respects Jackson’s opinion, but didn’t go into specifics regarding whether the Ravens would take a look at Brown.

Should a team sign Brown, the wideout would be eligible to take part in preseason activities. Once final rosters are set Sept. 5, Brown’s suspension will begin.

If the Ravens were to sign Brown, and Brown was cleared to return after missing eight games, Brown’s first game back would come against the Patriots.

Is this Antonio Brown’s last chance in the NFL?

If a team takes a shot on Brown, it could be Brown’s last chance to stick in the NFL. In its statement Friday, the league said Brown is still expected to “continue his program of counseling and treatment,” and must cooperate with clinicians. The league also warned that Brown would be subject to even harsher penalties if he violates the personal conduct policy again.

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