For the third time this year, Antonio Brown is seeking his forever home.
On Friday, the New England Patriots surprisingly (but, then again, not) released Brown, once again putting back onto the open market a supremely talented yet disturbingly troubled wide receiver.
As was the case following his Sept. 7 release from the Raiders, Brown is free to sign immediately and under no probationary period … yet.
But unlike a few weeks ago, the seven-time Pro Bowler is now facing a slew of criminal accusations, including sexual assault and rape, from multiple accusers — the latter of whom Brown reportedly threatened with explicit text messages.
There hasn’t been a whiff of interest floating the 31-year-old’s way, likely due to the distinct possibility he winds up on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, which would preclude him from playing until his case is thoroughly investigated.
The Cowboys haven’t been linked to Brown at any point during his league-wide tour, but they could use some help at wide receiver with Michael Gallup (meniscus) and Tavon Austin (concussion) sidelined, reducing the depth chart to four healthy bodies.
Despite awarding nearly $200 million in guarantees to secure their own this offseason, Dallas technically can afford Brown, who shouldn’t require anything more than a one-year, incentive-laced deal, loaded with outs to protect themselves. The team currently has $25.476 million in estimated salary cap space, per Spotrac.com.
No Interest in AB
Forget the fact that Dallas still hopes to sign walk-year franchise quarterback Dak Prescott and his No. 1 wide receiver, Amari Cooper, as well as budding superstar cornerback Byron Jones, to long-term extensions at some point between now and year’s end.
It’s that the Cowboys, plainly, just aren’t intrigued by Brown and his accompanying baggage. Take it straight from owner Jerry Jones, who outright admitted giving zero thought to adding Brown earlier this month.
“We didn’t. You saw why (Sunday) with the play of those receivers. I’m really pleased with where we are at receiver. I didn’t think we’d go there,” Jones said on Sept. 9 following the Cowboys’ blowout victory over the Giants, via The Athletic.
Plugged-in ESPN reporter Ed Werder also refuted Brown speculation at the time, explaining how even wheeling-and-deal Jones will resist the sky-high-risk, moderately-low-reward acquisition.
“While it is a fact that Jerry Jones has often taken a risks on incredibly talented players who should never have been available, even if flawed, I’ve been told not to expect the #Cowboys to pursue Antonio Brown,” Werder tweeted. “Not impossible. But not currently expected.”
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Cowboys Happy With WR Corps
Yes, they’ve been whittled to Cooper, Randall Cobb, former Jets bust Devin Smith and recent practice-squadder Cedrick Wilson. But the club is legitimately willing to roll with the quartet until Gallup is fully healed from his knee surgery — enough to avoid promoting Ventell Bryant from the taxi squad, anyway.
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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL