Any team that takes a chance on Antonio Brown will do so knowing he likely won’t contribute until at least midway through the upcoming season.
The NFL announced Friday that Brown has been suspended without pay for the first eight regular-season games of 2020, a result of multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.
Brown, a free agent since being released by the New England Patriots last September, also was directed to continue his program of counseling and treatment.
The 32-year-old wide receiver had been the subject of an NFL investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape.
Any team can sign Brown, who appeared in only one game last season (Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins as a member of the Patriots), and he would be eligible to participate in all of that team’s preseason activities. His suspension would go into effect as of the final roster cutdown on Sept. 5, and he’d be eligible to return after his team’s eighth game of the 2020 campaign.
Brown, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, spent his first nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, cementing himself as one of the most productive wide receivers in NFL history. The Steelers traded Brown to the Oakland Raiders before the 2019 season, but he never appeared in a game with the silver and black and wound up with the Patriots, who released him after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced.