BOSTON (CBS) — More than four months have passed since the Patriots released Antonio Brown. One of the most talented wide receivers on the planet has spent that time without an NFL job, due to the lingering uncertainty on his playing status after the league initiated an investigation into accusations of sexual assault and rape by Brown’s former trainer.
During that time of living in NFL limbo, Brown has managed to get into more trouble, most recently getting arrested and charged with burglary and battery after allegedly getting into an altercation with a delivery truck driver.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell spoke to the media in Miami on Wednesday and was asked if there was an update on Brown’s playing status. Goodell took a noticeably different tone with the matter than usual, choosing to speak about Brown’s “well-being” instead of focusing on a potential NFL suspension.
“I think the first thing for all of us is to think about the well-being of Antonio, to understand what Antonio is going through,” Goodell said. “We don’t talk about the wellness of our players publicly, but I would tell you that you can be assured that the NFL and NFLPA have a tremendous amount of resources that are available to all players. They’re going to be made available to Antonio.”
In this instance, Goodell indicated that the NFL wants to be able to rehabilitate Brown instead of enact punitive measures on him.
“We want to help get him on the right track and get him in a position where he is in a zone where he thinks he can be successful in life,” Goodell said. “We are confident that can happen. We want to work to do that. For our standpoint, that’s the first step, and the first step is making sure that we’re doing everything to help Antonio.”
While Brown has fired off some emotional social media posts during the season about his desire to not play in the NFL anymore, he posted a photo of himself and Tom Brady on Wednesday, indicating that he hopes to play with the quarterback in 2020.
“Want to play more than ever 2020 wherever [Tom Brady goes],” Brown wrote, adding the hashtag, “#BeEncouraged.”