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Antonio Brown Wants to Return to New England



Antonio Brown wants to come back to the NFL.

He said that as part of an Instagram Live post during a workout session in Florida on Wednesday, in a change of heart after saying in September that he was “done with the NFL.”

“I’m gonna do everything to get back,” Brown said. “I gotta.”

Brown is facing a possible league suspension for his actions with regards to a pair of accusations of sexual impropriety.

Specifically, Brown would like to return to the New England Patriots, who released him after playing in just one game earlier this season.

“If you guys follow the Patriots, tell them call me,” he said. “They gotta pay me so, may as well let me earn it.”

New England has not paid Brown most of the $9 million in guaranteed money they agreed to pay him when they signed him to a two-year contract this fall after Brown was released by the Oakland Raiders.

The Patriots allege that Brown did not disclose the federal lawsuit alleging rape and sexual assault that had been filed against him when he signed with the club. The Raiders are also withholding payment to Brown. He has filed a grievance and is being assisted in that process by the NFLPA.

If Brown signs with another team, he could be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would prohibit him from playing until the league completes its investigation.

“Our office is presently investigating multiple allegations, some of which are the subject of pending litigation,” an NFL spokesperson wrote in September. “We have as yet made no findings regarding these issues. The investigation is ongoing and will be pursued vigorously and expeditiously. As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the Commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate.

“If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation. Upon the conclusion of the investigation, he may also be subject to discipline if the investigation finds that he has violated the law or league policies.”


NFL Teams Approve Playoff Expansion



NFL teams have voted to approve postseason expansion by two teams beginning with the 2020 season, the league announced in a press release Tuesday.

One additional Wild Card team from each conference will qualify for the postseason, bringing the total number of clubs in the playoffs to 14. Only the No. 1 seed in each conference will receive a bye.

The AFC and NFC will now have three games each on Wild Card weekend. The No. 2 seed will host the No. 7 seed, the No. 3 seed will host the No. 6 seed and the No. 4 seed will host the No. 5 seed. Three games will be played on Saturday, Jan. 9, with the remaining three being played on Sunday, Jan. 10.

CBS will broadcast one of the new Wild Card games, and livestream it on CBS All Access. In addition to coverage on CBS, a separately produced broadcast of the game will air on Nickelodeon that is “tailored for a younger audience.”

The other game will be broadcast on NBC, as well as Telemundo and their new streaming service Peacock.

This is the first time the NFL has expanded the playoffs since the 1990 season, when they increased from 10 to 12 teams.

Playoff expansion should come as welcomed news to Steelers fans, who know all to well how close Pittsburgh has come to making the postseason over the last few years.

Had the expanding of the postseason come seasons prior, the Steelers would have benefited the most. If the NFL had expanded the playoffs a decade ago, the Steelers would have been the last team in four times and made the postseason each of the last ten years.

The Steelers have missed out on the playoffs by just one game the last two seasons.

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Report: Rift Between NFL, Teams on April Draft



While the NFL plans to go ahead with the 2020 Draft as scheduled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, general managers around the league reportedly want to see it pushed back, according to ESPN’s Dianna Russini and Adam Schefter.

The NFL’s General Manager sub committee suggested to commissioner Roger Goodell that the draft be postponed, a recommendation that the league apparently ignored.

Teams are concerned that others will have an unfair advantage in preparing for the draft, with some teams still having access to their facilities while others do not. They are also concerned about not being able to do their normal due diligence scouting prospects, such as attending pro days, administering physicals and psychological testing and conducting interviews.

Commissioner Goodell put those concerns of unfairness to rest in a memo to teams Tuesday night, closing all league facilities moving forward.

While Goodell’s decision should help alleviate some of the worry amongst the general managers, teams now must focus their attention to the challenge of setting up their draft rooms remotely.

With the draft exactly one month away, there is still plenty of time for the league to change its mind. Still, no one with actual decision-making power around the league seems eager to reschedule.

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Mic Drop: Tom Brady Leaves Patriots



Mike Asti cautions Steelers fans about piling on Patriots fans too much because of Tom Brady’s departure.


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