Antonio Brown Eying Patriots Return to NFL This Season: Report

Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots.

Getty Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots.

Antonio Brown wants to play again in the NFL this season and prefers to suit up for the Patriots. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reported that Brown would like to play again for the Patriots but would also sign with another team this season if given the opportunity.

Brown is unlikely to launch a return until the NFL investigation into multiple allegations has been completed. Fowler reported Brown is hoping to have the investigation wrapped up in the “next few weeks.”

Sources said Brown hopes to have his playing status cleared up in the next few weeks before signing with an NFL team…Sources told Fowler that Brown would wait to sign with a team until it is clear he would be allowed to play. He’s also been training rigorously and would welcome a return to the New England Patriots, even if that’s unlikely, but most of all, he says he just wants to play.

Brown Alluded to a Potential NFL Return in an Instagram Live Video

Prior to the latest ESPN report, Brown has been dropping hints of a potential return throughout the week. During an Instagram Live video, Brown alluded to his ongoing grievance with the Patriots over his 2019 salary and noted that he still wanted to play for the Patriots.

“[If] you guys follow the Patriots, tell them to call me. They still gotta pay me, so might as well let me earn it,” Brown said in the video, per WBZ’s Michael Hurley.

Brown’s assertion that the Patriots will indeed have to pay him appears to have some merit. The Boston Globe reported that Brown’s grievance is “clearly in his favor.”

Brown could be right about that last part. He reportedly has filed grievances through the NFL Players Association seeking payment of his $9 million signing bonus from the Patriots, and the collective bargaining agreement is pretty clearly in his favor. The grievance isn’t going to be resolved until next spring, but Brown is almost certainly going to win.

Brady Appears Displeased With the Patriots Recent Roster Moves

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Tom Brady did not offer a ringing endorsement of the Patriots recent roster moves including releasing tight end Benjamin Watson. Both Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon have battled injuries throughout the start of the season. The Patriots’ rookie receiver N’Keal Harry is also on injured reserve but could return later this season.

“I’m the quarterback, so I don’t make those decisions,” Brady told the Boston Globe. “Whoever’s out there, that’s who I’ve got to play with.”

According to, Brady even liked Brown’s Instagram post where the receiver was pictured in a Patriots uniform. Brady and Brown appeared to have a good relationship before the receiver was released. The Patriots quarterback was outspoken about his support of the Patriots signing Brown.

The key to a potential return for Brown is what the NFL uncovers in its investigation. As the team has shown with Gordon, the Patriots are not opposed to giving players multiple chances. Any potential reunion for Brown and the Patriots likely depends on if the NFL finds wrongdoing in its investigation.