The NFL will give "serious consideration" to placing Antonio Brown on its commissioner's exempt list after the New England Patriots wide receiver was accused of raping his former trainer in a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday, sources told Mark Maske of The Washington Post.
If placed on the list, Brown would be paid but wouldn't be eligible to play or practice.
It's unclear whether the league will make a decision before New England's next game, a Sunday matchup with the Miami Dolphins. Potentially placing Brown on the list is something the NFL "is going to have to focus on," according to one of Maske's sources.
The NFL has begun investigating Britney Taylor's allegations against Brown, and league leaders plan to meet Wednesday to discuss the matter.
Taylor intends to meet with the NFL next week, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The league could allow Brown to start playing for the Patriots, who officially announced his one-year deal on Monday, while the investigation plays out. In that case, the wideout could be placed on the commissioner's list at a later date.
Brown denied the allegations that he sexually assaulted Taylor on three separate occasions in 2017 and 2018 through his lawyer, Darren Heitner, who tweeted that his client intends to "aggressively defend himself."
In a statement, Heitner said "any sexual interaction" between Brown and Taylor "was entirely consensual."
Brown's one-year contract is reportedly worth up to $15 million. It contains a $9-million signing bonus, and the Patriots apparently included a $20-million team option for 2020.