While nearly every aspect of The Antonio Brown Situation™ has been covered ad nauseum at this point, particularly most recently as it related to the fact that he is now officially on the trade market, one aspect that hasn’t been talked about as much is the fact that he could possibly be in-line for discipline from the NFL, though we are far from knowing anything about that right now.
Still, it was a topic that General Manager Kevin Colbert was asked to address when he spoke to a group of local reporters on Wednesday. One reporter asked him if he had heard from the league about a possible suspension for Brown. “No, listen, the incident that you’re referencing, it’s something that the League will look into”, Colbert said, per the transcript of the discussion provided by Will Graves of the Associated Press. “That’s totally up to them, but at this point, we’re not concerned about that”.
It is worth noting that he said the league would look into it, though that’s something that we should already know. For those who might not remember, there was a police report detailing a domestic dispute that Brown had with the mother of one of his children in January in which there ended up being a minor physical confrontation, though no charges were filed. But recall that the league wields ultimate discretion and can suspend players simply for behavior that makes the league look bad, ostensibly.
“That’s totally up to the other teams”, Colbert said when he was asked if that factor, and a possible suspension, would affect his trade market. “They have the same information. I know this, Antonio Brown is a great father. I’ve seen him with his children. He provides for and cares for each and every one of his kids. That’s never been a question on our part”.
One other thing that has to be taken into consideration is that the league weighs a player’s total history when considering whether or not a player should be suspended. While the NFL has never disciplined Brown for behavior outside of excessive celebrations in the past, there are other incidents in his background, including a recent speeding ticket and a furniture-throwing incident, that could be looked at as well.
“They could, and again, that’s an NFL issue”, Colbert said when asked to address that factor of the discussion. “Any time any of our players are involved in an issue, if the League doesn’t know about it, it’s our obligation to inform them and what they do from that point forward is totally up to them”.
It’s unclear when or if we will ever hear more from the league about what they are looking at with regards to Brown and a potential disciplinary measure. Generally, such things are kept out of the headlines until a punishment is handed down unless it’s something very high-profile. But any team considering trading for him would likely be informed of the process.