There’s no telling whether Antonio Brown is serious this time with what appears to be an announcement of his retirement from the NFL.
Brown, who at 32 is a free agent and remains under NFL investigation for multiple allegations of sexual assault and misconduct, tweeted Monday that “at this point the risk is greater than the reward” when it comes to playing football.
Brown, who played one game for the Patriots last season after his offseason-long fiasco with the Raiders, also threatened to retire in September after New England released him. Most recently, ESPN reported the Seahawks did a “deep dive” on the free-agent wide receiver but had not yet decided to sign him. The Ravens also reportedly had some interest.
Brown played nine seasons with the Steelers after Pittsburgh selected him in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, and the four-time All-Pro selection is responsible for the four biggest receiving seasons in Steelers history in terms of yards.
Pittsburgh traded Brown to Oakland in 2019 as a result of his dissatisfaction with his role on the team, a breakup for which Brown later apologized. Yet Brown never played in a regular-season game for the Raiders, who released him after the receiver all but forced his way out of Oakland during the 2019 preseason.
Shortly after he signed a one-year deal with the Patriots, Brown in a civil lawsuit was accused of exploitation, sexual assault and rape. The NFL’s investigation into the allegations remain ongoing even though Brown has not been on a roster since New England released him Sept. 20 after he sent intimidating text messages to one of his accusers.
Brown in April was arrested on one count of felony burglary with battery after allegedly engaging in a physical altercation with a truck driver outside of his home in Hollywood, Fla. That case was settled last month when Brown pleaded no contest. He was ordered to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service, attend a 13-week anger management program and undergo psychological/psychiatric evaluation and treatment if necessary.
If Brown indeed retired Monday, his NFL career ends with 11,263 receiving yards and 75 touchdowns. His career mark of 86 receiving yards per game ranks fifth in NFL history.
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