July 31 (UPI) — Free-agent wide receiver Antonio Brown has received an eight-game suspension without pay for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, the league announced Friday.
In its statement, the NFL said that Brown was instructed “to continue his program of counseling and treatment,” and “he is expected to fully cooperate with his clinicians.” The league noted that any further violations would likely result in harsher discipline.
League sources told ESPN and NFL Media that Brown has accepted his punishment and isn’t expected to appeal the eight-game ban.
Brown’s suspension stems from multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. The former All-Pro receiver had been the subject of an NFL investigation following an accusation of sexual misconduct at his home from a female artist who was working there in 2017.
He also pleaded no contest in June to a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges stemming from a January incident outside his South Florida home with a moving truck company. Brown was ordered to serve two years of probation and 100 hours of community service as part of the plea deal.
A separate league investigation into Brown stemming from a lawsuit filed by his former trainer alleging that the wideout sexually assaulted her is still ongoing, according to ESPN. Brown, who met with the NFL in November as part of the probe, has denied the allegations and said his sexual relationship with the trainer was consensual.
Brown could receive an additional suspension after the conclusion of that investigation, according to ESPN.
Brown, 32, last played for the New England Patriots on Sept. 15. The Patriots released him one week after his debut with the team, and he hasn’t been signed since.
If Brown signs with a team before the regular season, he would be allowed to take part in pre-season activities and workouts. The suspension will go into effect in Week 1, regardless of whether he is on a roster.
The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Brown in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft out of Central Michigan. In 131 career games with the Steelers and Patriots, he has recorded 841 receptions for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns.