The NFL has created several new policies this offseason in the hopes of cleaning up some of the off-field activity from some players.
First, they announced that incoming rookies could face suspension for conduct prior to joining the league.
Now, it sounds like Antonio Brown’s past antics have created a new policy in the NFL.
According to Pro Football Talk, Brown’s short time with the New England Patriots in 2019 caught the attention of the league.
“After Brown finagled his release from the Raiders, the Patriots signed him. Then, after only one game, Brown was sued for sexual assault and rape. It later came to light that Brown knew of the threatened litigation before signing with the Patriots, but that he did not disclose it to them.”
Due to how that scenario played out, the league is now demanding players to inform clubs of any possible issues they’re facing before signing onto a team. That way, they can avoid the fiasco Brown put the Patriots through in 2019.
Pro Football Talk shares the exact verbiage of what the NFL’s new policy states.
“In addition, active and prospective players have an obligation to promptly disclose any such incidents to their club or the league office before signing a contract with a club.”
As previously mentioned, Antonio Brown played just one game for the Patriots and his legal issues ended up having him removed from the team and the NFL for a time being.
When he originally signed with New England, the franchise paid him a hefty $9 million signing bonus.
After being released, “the Patriots then declined to pay the first installment of the signing bonus. The ensuing grievance filed by Brown against the Patriots was later settled. Which implies that the Patriots paid something,” per Pro Football Talk.
So, the new policy is created to protect teams from having to pay a player if they fail to inform them of any legal matters before signing a contract.
It’s a policy that ultimately makes sense. But is also a rare occurrence. Either way, Antonio Brown’s past antics has generated a way for the NFL to protect its teams.