Just when we thought we heard the last of the Antonio Brown’s saga, we're proven wrong. After a tumultuous offseason with the Oakland Raiders that ultimately led him to sign with the Patriots, Brown has now been accused of sexual assault. Ben Shpigel of the New York Times reported the incident on Tuesday evening.
The civil complaint was filed by Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, in the Southern District of Florida US District Court. The accusation details three occasions of sexual assault that occurred between 2017 and 2018, two of which occurred during training sessions. Attached in the document are photos of graphic text messages allegedly sent from Brown to the victim after the incident.
In response to the complaint, Brown's attorneys have issued a statement regarding his relationship with Taylor. This statement describes a "consensual personal relationship" between the two parties and firmly denies all allegations. Darren Heitner, a member of Brown’s legal team, indicates that they “will leave no stone unturned and will aggressively defend himself, including exercising all of his rights in countersuits.”
The details of Brown’s new contract with the Patriots were reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Monday, including incentives of a $500k weekly roster bonuses their new wide receiver will miss out on if he’s not activated on the final 53-man roster. Given the short timeline, it remains to be seen whether the Patriots intend to have him active for their road matchup against Miami. Regardless, it’s worth questioning what, if any, punishment Brown could see should the allegations prove to have merit.
The Patriots released a statement Tuesday night in response to the allegations. While noting intolerance for sexual violence and assault, the Patriots write that the NFL will be investigating and that they will have no further comment during that investigation. Taylor has announced her intention to cooperate with the NFL during this investigation.
Editor's Note: Drafting is only half the battle. Dominate all season long with our Season Pass! Use our NEW Start/Sit Tool, Trade Analyzer, Consensus Rankings, Projections and more on your way to a championship! Click here for more!
By all accounts, it would seem that Brown is going to play when deemed ready by the team to be up-to-speed with the playbook. This is, however, the NFL, where nothing is ever off the table. If Roger Goodell deems Brown fit for the commissioner’s exempt list, this would exempt him from counting towards the Patriots' active roster limit. This would afford them an extra roster spot, should the investigation dictate that Brown step away from the team for any period of time.
Quarterback and Running Back Slants
As if there was any question you’d be starting Patrick Mahomes in Week 2, he gets to face an already banged-up Raiders secondary. It was announced Tuesday that Raiders 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram could be headed for the IR with a torn labrum suffered Monday night. CB Gareon Conley also had a scare on MNF; after an awkward tackle, Conley was immobilized and carted off the field, appearing to injure his neck. Conley is considered day-to-day. There’s always a likelihood of Mahomes finishing the week as the QB1, and an injured Raiders secondary only helps his cause. … After overcoming the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, Raiders QB Derek Carr commented on the situation with former teammate, Antonio Brown. It sounds and looks as though all of Oakland is ready to move forward. Carr should look to have another impressive outing against a softer Chiefs secondary and a game script that should have him slinging the rock. ... Despite Tampa Bay RB Ronald Jones looking like the best rusher on the field Sunday, head coach Bruce Arians reaffirmed Tuesday that Peyton Barber remains the lead running back. Jones has had a rocky start to his career with the Bucs after being drafted in the second round in 2018, but might be worth a stash should he see a bigger workload moving forward. … Browns RB Dontrell Hilliard remains in the concussion protocol and missed practice on Tuesday. Hilliard ran behind RB Nick Chubb, seeing 11 snaps to Chubb’s 19 in Sunday’s brutal home opener versus the Titans. Hilliard should be rostered in all dynasty leagues. … Coach Jon Gruden says that rookie RB should see a similar workload Week 2 versus the Chiefs. Jacobs played 74% of offensive snaps in his NFL premiere and finished the day with 113 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. He’s a locked-in RB2.
Wide Receiver, Tight End and Kicker Slants
Newly acquired Kenny Stills shined in his first game as a Texan. He played just 27 snaps and brought in his three targets for 37 yards and a score. Coach Bill O'Brien stated Tuesday that Stills should look to see more playing time, further jeopardizing Keke Coutee’s pathway to snaps as he continues to battle an ankle injury. … Broncos WR Tim Patrick suffered a broken hand in Denver’s MNF matchup. He requires surgical repair and will be out 6-8 weeks. Patrick was the fourth man on the pecking order but had a strong finish to 2018. He’s droppable in dynasty formats if you’ve got other options. … WR Demaryius Thomas was traded to the Jets in exchange for a 2021 sixth-round pick. Coming off a torn Achilles, he should be off your fantasy radars for now. ... Panthers veteran tight end, Greg Olsen, missed his second consecutive practice this week and is listed with a back injury. During his extended absence in the second half of 2018, then-rookie Ian Thomas was the TE6 in half-PPR. If Olsen isn’t ready to go for TNF, Thomas has the upside to finish as a TE1 against the Bucs. … Hard Knocks hero Darren Waller was talked up again by head coach Jon Gruden Tuesday, after playing 100% of offensive snaps and reeling in seven catches for 70 yards. Waller’s value continues to climb as the Raiders march on without Antonio Brown, and he should be rostered in all formats… After bouncing from the Ravens, to the Vikings, and now to the Jets, placekicker Kaare Vedvik has been waived. The Jets lost their home opener to a divisional rival, and likely at the cost of Vedvik’s missed field goal and extra point attempt. The Jets have signed Sam Ficken, formerly of the Rams. … After a rough outing in Week 1, Colts HC Frank Reich came to the defense of veteran placekicker Adam Vinatieri. Vinatieri missed two field goals and an extra point Sunday. He turns 47 in December.