New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown was accused of three counts of sexual assault and rape in a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday.
In the wake of that news, the NFL could place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Tuesday night. The Patriots announced Tuesday night that the NFL is investigating the incident. Brown’s accuser, Britney Taylor, is planning to meet with the league next week, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Brown denied all allegations in a statement released by his lawyer.
The commissioner’s exempt list essentially is paid leave, though Brown still could be allowed inside Gillette Stadium to attend meetings and receive treatment. Only NFL commissioner Roger Goodell can place a player on the exempt list. Brown would not take up a spot on the 53-man roster, and he could not practice or play in games if placed on the exempt list.
Michael Vick, Greg Hardy, Adrian Peterson, Josh Brown, Reuben Foster and Kareem Hunt all have been placed on the commissioner’s exempt list in the past with a wide range of outcomes.
Vick only spent 10 days on the exempt list for his participation in a dogfighting ring after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. He was then activated onto the Eagles’ 53-man roster.
Hardy played one game in 2014 then was placed on the exempt list for the remainder of the season after being arrested on domestic assault charges. He was suspended 10 games to start the 2015 season.
Peterson was placed on the exempt list on Sept. 17, 2014, after child abuse allegations. He was suspended for the rest of the season on Nov. 18, 2014.
Brown was placed on the exempt list on Oct. 21, 2016, after being charged with domestic violence the previous year. He was released by the New York Giants on Oct. 25. He was suspended six games in 2017 as a free agent but has not been signed by a team since 2016.
Foster was waived by the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 24, 2018, after being charged with domestic assault. The Washington Redskins claimed him Nov. 27, and he was placed on the exempt list the next day. He did not play for the remainder of the season. The charges were dropped, and he was not suspended.
Hunt was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30, 2018, after a video surfaced of the running back hitting a woman. The Cleveland Browns signed Hunt on Feb. 11, and he was placed on the exempt list. Hunt was suspended the first eight games of the regular season.
So, if Brown is placed on the exempt list, he could miss the remainder of the 2019 season even if he’s not suspended.
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