The NFL will give serious consideration to placing Antonio Brown on paid leave via its commissioner’s exempt list, after he was accused in a federal lawsuit in Florida of rape and sexual assault, Mark Maske of the Washington Post reports.
The wide receiver would be ineligible to play for the New England Patriots if he’s placed on the exempt list by the league.
Placing Brown on the exempt list is “possible” and something that the NFL is “going to have to focus on,” said one of the people close to the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.
The league is investigating the allegations, but it’s unclear whether a decision about the exempt list will be made this week, before the Patriots are scheduled to play Sunday. Brown has not been charged with a crime, so the NFL does not have to be concerned, at this point, about interfering with a criminal investigation. It is not certain if or when the league’s investigators will be able to arrange interviews with Brown’s accuser and other potential witnesses.
Neither the league nor attorneys for Brown’s accuser, Britney Taylor, immediately confirmed an ESPN report that Taylor plans to meet with NFL representatives next week, and is unable to do so sooner because of her wedding.