Rumblings about a possible reunion between Antonio Brown and the Patriots began to pick up steam this week after via social media earlier this week. It gained further steam when former Patriots tight end Christian Fauria publicly alluded to the possibility of the Patriots re-signing Brown, who was two weeks into the 2019 season. A in September that accused him of sexual assault and rape. Brown has since sued his accuser for defamation.
On Thursday, Tom E. Curran of NBC Sports Boston reported that the Patriots are not interested in bringing back Brown, who continues to train in Florida as the league continues to review the civil case against him.
“Two sources with knowledge of the Patriots thinking scoffed at the idea Antonio Brown would rejoin the Patriots this season,” Curran wrote. “When one source was asked if there was a chance the wideout – who was with the Patriots for less than two tumultuous weeks in September – might have a chance at rejoining the team, this was the two-word response. ‘What’s changed?'”
Curran said that, per his sources, hurt feelings (Brown criticized Kraft and the Patriots shortly after being released by the team) is not the reason why the Patriots are not interested in re-signing Brown. The issue is reportedly the team’s fear of more issues “cropping up down the road.”
Brown, who played in just one game for the Patriots before being released by the team, would surely help a Patriots’ passing game that has struggled in recent weeks. Tom Brady, the Patriots’ future Hall of Fame quarterback, has gone three straight games without a touchdown pass. In last Sunday’s 17-10 victory over the Eagles, Brady threw for just 216 yards while completing a mere 55.3 percent of his throws.
With newly acquired receiver Mohamed Sanu sustaining an ankle injury against the Eagles, Julian Edelman was the only Patriots receiver that eclipsed 50 receiving yards. Rookie wideout N’Keal Henry, who missed the season’s first nine games due to injury, caught three of four targets for 18 yards in his regular-season debut. Sanu’s injury is expected to against the Cowboys.
While Brown’s on-field ability would certainly help the Patriots, his off-field issues are apparently what’s keeping a possible reunion between Brown and the Patriots from coming to fruition.