NFL Issues New Statement on Antonio Brown's Status With League

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Wide Receiver Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots warms up prior to the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
New England Patriots v Miami Dolphins | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Antonio Brown is officially an unrestricted free agent. The New England Patriots famously cut ties with the mercurial All-Pro wide receiver just 11 days after swooping in to sign him in the wake of his release from the Oakland Raiders, and though the NFL is investigating mutliple troubling allegations made against him, they aren't placing any penalties or bans on him at this time, per a new statement issued Friday evening.

"As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner's exempt list is not appropriate," the statement reads.

If he signs with a team and is subsequently placed on the exempt list by Commissioner Roger Goodell, Brown would be ineligible to play or practice, though he'd still be paid under the terms of his contract. Additionally, it could be determined over the course of these investigations into Brown's alleged misconduct that he has violated the NFL's personal conduct policy, which would open him up to suspension.

But first things first: for now, Antonio Brown is a free man as far as the NFL's rules and regulations go. But we haven't heard the last of this ongoing saga. Not by a long shot.