Rapoport: AB Will “Probably” Be On An NFL Roster In 2020

Antonio Brown could return to the NFL, Ian Rapoport says, but “a lot of things” need to happen first

Zach Gelb
May 29, 2020 - 7:53 am

Since his one-game cameo with the New England Patriots in September 2019, Antonio Brown, engulfed in a series of personal and legal issues, has not played in the NFL.

But there’s a decent chance he’ll be on a roster in 2020.

“Probably at some point,” NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport said on The Zach Gelb Show. “Now there’s some things that need to happen. We still need to figure out if he’s going to be suspended. I think that will be one thing. We don’t know because remember he’s got allegations of sexual assault and rape – civil allegations, but allegations nonetheless. He’s got some serious things he’s kind of dealing with right now – so much so that Roger Goodell had said very publicly that he hopes he gets some help rather than talk about the possible punishments. So there’s things that need to be sorted out before he gets on the field.”

Several quarterbacks, including Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson, would like to play with Brown. Wilson said as much last week, and Jackson worked out with Brown in April.

“I’m sure Russell Wilson wants him. I would imagine Lamar Jackson likes great receivers and he probably would want him, too,” Rapoport said. “[But] this is not a quarterback decision. It’s not even really a coach or GM decision. It’s really an owner decision. When you have allegations of sexual assault, allegations of rape, these are not decisions made by football men. These are decisions made by the people who own the team and will have to answer those questions. I don’t think it’s impossible he’s on a roster, but a lot of things need to happen for it to be so.”

Rapoport is unsure when the NFL would determine, or announce, Brown’s potential suspension.

“They’re still in sort of a fact-finding phase,” Rapoport said. “I don’t know if it will be before or after he signs. It could be either. But sometimes these things get wrapped up in the summer. We’ll see if that’s the case here.”