New England Patriots will head to Miami this Sunday for the Week 2 game against the Dolphins. But no one is concerned about that as Patriots vs Dolphins will most probably a one-sided game with Tom Brady destroying the boys in blues. The matter of every discussion is regarding the playing status of Antonio Brown.
Every NFL fan wants to know whether Brown will play in Patriots vs Dolphins or not. While there were several reports of putting Brown on commissioner’s exempt list, the Patriots might avoid it. Bill Belichick would most likely want Antonio to play his first game with the team so that everyone can get around him. Here are the few ways by which Brown can play the game against the Miami Dolphins.
There is no Evidence against Brown
There are many reasons why the Patriots don’t feel the need to put Brown on Roger Goodell’s exempt list. It is a simple fact that Brown has just been accused and not proven guilty. There is solid evidence against him, if teams started dropping players from their roster on random cases being filed, there would be none left.
At this point, NFL will not place Antonio Brown on commissioner exempt list, as there is no criminal investigation, making him eligible to play Sunday vs. Miami, per sources. NFL has opened its investigation, which will include interviews with Antonio Brown and his accuser.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 13, 2019
There is no proof of evidence which makes the lawsuit a civil case and hence none of the NFL rules are violated. The previous examples were players such as Michael Vick, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, Kareem Hunt, etc had clear violence charges with video footage evidence. The whole case of Antonio Brown is still under investigation and there is no need to take action until he’s found guilty in any of the charges.
Adjusting Incentive Bonus and Total Games
The Patriots coach Bill Belichick knows very well how to handle such situations without breaking any NFL rules. If they put Brown on the exempt list, he would be paid his basic weekly salary but no game incentives will be provided. It is a loss for both the Patriots as well as they have to pay him without even using him on the field.
Reporter: Are the plans to have Antonio Brown play on Sunday?
BB: “We’ll do what’s best for the team.”
Reporter: Will it be best for the team to have Antonio play?
BB: “We’ll determine that. I’m not going to hand out a copy of the game-plan here.” pic.twitter.com/J4RvGFNSYS
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 13, 2019
Antonio Brown, now No. 17, catches a pass from Tom Brady early in practice. pic.twitter.com/gKpA9MUJin
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) September 12, 2019
The best option left with the Patriots is to adjust his incentives to a lower amount that way he can play more games for the same salary. It is not clear how long does it takes for the verdict of the lawsuit to come out and they would use Brown as much as possible before that starting with the Patriots vs Dolphins game.