NFL Notes: Antonio Brown, Holdouts, Veteran Combine

     

Antonio Brown

  • Adam Schefter mentions that the NFL can now conduct its investigation of Antonio Brown following his release from the Patriots without any time pressure. Schefter says it’s “hard to imagine another team would attempt to get in the way of that. So Brown’s NFL career is on pause and possibly could even be over.”
  • According to Jay Glazer, there were only a couple teams who showed interest in signing Brown before he joined the Patriots, However, Glazer adds that this list will probably be “whittled down to zero for the foreseeable future.” 
  • Ian Rapoport notes that Brown would have to be on an NFL roster in order for the league to place him on the Commissioner’s Exempt list, so that is no longer in play unless he signs with a new club.
  • Regarding Brown’s $9M signing bonus, Tom Pelissero reports that it wasn’t all due at signing and there’s usually forfeiture language. An NFL exec tells Pelissero: “I don’t think he has any money yet so at least they can hold it while they fight about it.
  • Other league executives tells Pelissero they believe it’s a weak forfeiture case.
  • Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, issued the following statement: “It’s unfortunate things didn’t work out with the Patriots. But Antonio is healthy and is looking forward to his next opportunity in the NFL. He wants to play the game he loves and he hopes to play for another team soon.”

Holdouts

  • Dan Graziano of ESPN reports that some NFL owners have proposed changes that would significantly strengthen the penalties for players who hold out in training camp in recent collective bargaining talks with the NFLPA.
  • According to Graziano, owners are concerned about future holdouts and would like to increase the penalties for players who go this route. Graziano says it’s unclear what specific changes the owners are proposing, but one source referred to some of the suggestions “draconian”, which could include significant increases in fine amounts or, possibly, changes to contract language that allows teams to void or amend contracts in cases of holdouts.
  • Graziano adds that it appears unlikely the NFLPA would agree to changes that would impact players’ abilities to hold out without some “significant financial” concessions.

Veteran Combine

Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports that there is mounting support in NFL football operations departments for a new in-season player combine and training service to help teams evaluate current free agents before weekly tryouts that largely take place on Tuesdays.

La Canfora mentions that longtime agent, Don Yee, is spearheading a plan for a three-day developmental camp where players recently out of college or recently released by NFL teams could showcase themselves in front of NFL scouts.

The NFL has reportedly sent a personnel notice to all 32 NFL teams this month notifying them of the camp known as “Pro Scrimmage.” The expectation is that 10 to 20 elite street free agents will be in attendance for the combine later this month in California.

Here’s part of the release from the NFL:

NFL Clubs are permitted to attend this camp if all participants have previously been eligible for an NFL draft and are currently free agents who are not under contract to another league. It is the responsibility of any club personnel attending the camp to ensure that all participating players are eligible to be evaluated. If there is a question regarding any player’s eligibility, club personnel may not observe the workout, or the player’s workout must be postponed until the Player Personnel department can verify the player’s eligibility.

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