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Buccaneers news: NFL, team to keep an eye on Antonio Brown sexual assault trial

Vincent Frank

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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers shocked the NFL world late last week by signing suspended seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Antonio Brown.

A former star with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Brown is suspended for the first eight games of the 2020 NFL season. That comes after multiple violations of the league’s substance abuse policy.

With Brown set to join the Buccaneers, head coach Bruce Arians talked about bringing him in. Arians’ comments come following Tampa’s blowout win over the Raiders.

Related: If you’re a fan of the Buccaneers, check out #GoBucs rumors, rankings, and news here.

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians opens up about signing Antonio Brown

“He’s been around a lot of players facing allegations,” Arians said, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. “If it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.”

Arians is obviously talking about allegations of sexual assault levied in Brown’s direction by his former trainer. The civil suit, filed by Britney Taylor in September of 2019, is set to go to trail in December. Remember, it’s not a criminal suit. So even if Brown is found liable, the Buccaneers can argue that he was not found guilty in a criminal trial.

As for the NFL, it is still investigating the matter.

NFL still looking into Antonio Brown’s sexual assault allegations

“No conclusions have been reached in the ongoing investigation of that matter,” an NFL spokesman said Sunday, via Pro Football Talk. “We are monitoring developments and we will evaluate any additional information that we receive that bears upon whether these allegations are supported by sufficient credible evidence to find a violation of the Personal Conduct Policy. If a further violation is found, he would be subject to discipline at that time.”

It’s interesting in that the NFL did specifically point out its personal conduct policy. The league also indicated that Brown would face discipline if the investigation found wrongdoing.

In addition to these troubling allegations, Brown’s career in the NFL has been derailed by his own actions. He was briefly a member of the then-Oakland Raiders during the 2019 offseason. A spat with the team’s front office led to his release.

NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown is still waiting to sign with a team
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Brown then suited up for one game with the New England Patriots prior to the above-mentioned allegations becoming public record. New England promptly released the star receiver.

As for the Buccaneers, their decision to sign Brown was spearheaded by Tom Brady. Arians might deny that publicly. But as former teammates, Brown and Brady are close. That’s what led to the star receiver joining the Buccaneers. Whether said union is short-lived remains to be seen.