With the league currently investigating free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown for sexual misconduct and sexual assault allegations, the thought was he would not play in the NFL this season.
But, after meeting with the league last week, maybe there's a chance after all.
“There’s optimism on Brown’s part that things went well enough last Thursday that he could be reinstated by the end of the season," Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio said Wednesday on The Greg Hill Show. "The prevailing view had been the NFL was going to kick the can through the end of the season, let him play next year. If they decide to suspend him, maybe give him credit for time served because for a practical matter he’s been suspended without pay for nine weeks because no one will touch him while this league investigation is pending. But, there is some optimism that he will have a chance to get back in.
“That is what sparked really for me fascination. You throw this guy in the pool of available players with two or three weeks left in the regular season, just as an example, think about the land rush playoff teams would potentially engage (in with) him because not only do you help yourself by getting him, you help yourself by keeping him from signing with someone you’re going to have to deal with in January, which gives you even more reason to get him under contract, if and when he’s eligible to be signed.”
While Brown isn't suspended or on the Commissioner's Exempt List, the league said in a statement back in September that could change if signed, since free agents cannot go on that list.
The wide out potentially returning to the league, and even the Patriots, gained steam following Brown apologizing to the Patriots and Robert Kraft on social media Tuesday.
Brown played one game with the Patriots this year before he was released after sending alleged threatening texts to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct in a Sports Illustrated story.