Patriots WR Brown avoids exempt list, can play Week 2

Sports

FILE PHOTO: Former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown prior to kickoff against the New Orleans Saints at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, Dec 23, 2018. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

Antonio Brown is eligible to play Sunday when the New England Patriots visit the Miami Dolphins.

Brown, the subject of a civil suit by his former trainer alleging rape and sexual assault, was under consideration for the Commissioner’s Exempt List, according to USA Today. But commissioner Roger Goodell will not enact his authority in the matter at this time.

USA Today reported Goodell is reserving the right to place Brown on the exempt list should criminal charges be brought against Brown.

Whether Brown will be active and on the field for the Patriots at Miami after three days of practice is up to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick. Multiple reports indicate the Patriots were not aware of the civil suit Saturday when they agreed to a one-year deal with Brown hours after he was released by the Oakland Raiders.

Brown, 31, inked a reported one-year, $15 million deal that includes a $9 million signing bonus and a $20 million team option for 2020.

After bailing on the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2018 regular-season finale and sitting out Week 1 this year, Brown could pay for the first time since Dec. 23 if he faces the Dolphins.

Belichick downplayed Brown’s past, responding to a question about Brown being a disruption with a name from the past that worked out pretty well.

“That’s the same thing you (the media) said about Randy Moss when we brought him in,” Belichick said Tuesday.

—Field Level Media

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