NFL won’t place Antonio Brown on exempt list as long as he’s a free agent

Charean Williams
ProFootball Talk on NBC Sports

The NFL continues to investigate Antonio Brown but will not place him on the Commissioner-Exempt list as long as the receiver remains a free agent, the league announced Friday night.

The league, though, said it would reassess if a team signs Brown.

“Antonio Brown was released today by the New England Patriots and is currently an unrestricted free agent,” the NFL said in its statement. “Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation. We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously.

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“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate. If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”

That likely is enough to discourage any team from signing Brown . . . if any team was interested in signing Brown. Brown still would be paid if he were placed on the Commissioner-Exempt list but would be ineligible to practice or play.

Any team interested in signing Brown likely lets the NFL’s investigation play out first.

The NFL met with Britney Taylor for 10 hours Monday about the allegations of rape and sexual assault she levied against Brown in a lawsuit last week. Since then, Brown has become the subject of another accusation of improper conduct with a woman.

The NFL advised Brown to stop contacting the second accuser after he reportedly harassed her via text message, which precipitated his release from the Patriots earlier Friday.

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