BROWN SOCKED WITH EIGHT-GAME SUS­PEN­SION

Chicago Sun-Times - - BEARS BEAT -

The NFL sus­pended wide re­ceiver An­to­nio Brown for the first eight reg­u­lar-sea­son games of the 2020 sea­son.

Brown, who does not have a con­tract with any team, was sus­pended Fri­day un­der the league’s per­sonal-con­duct pol­icy.

Brown, who played one game last sea­son for the Pa­tri­ots be­fore be­ing re­leased, can be signed by any team and would be el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in all of his club’s pre­sea­son ac­tiv­i­ties. The sus­pen­sion would take ef­fect when teams make their fi­nal cuts Sept. 5.

As part of the dis­ci­pline, Brown was di­rected to con­tinue his pro­gram of coun­sel­ing and treat­ment. He also was ad­vised that any fu­ture vi­o­la­tion of the per­sonal-con­duct pol­icy will “likely re­sult in more sig­nif­i­cant dis­ci­pline.”

Brown’s agent Ed Wasielewsk­i wrote in a state­ment posted on Twit­ter that the wide re­ceiver will not ap­peal the sus­pen­sion.

“He is ex­cited to re­sume his out­stand­ing foot­ball ca­reer and is look­ing for­ward to play­ing in the 2020 sea­son,” Wasielewsk­i said.

Brown pleaded no con­test June 12 to charges re­lated to a fight with a mov­ingtruck driver out­side his South Florida home this year. As part of the deal with Broward County pros­e­cu­tors, Brown pleaded no con­test to bur­glary with bat­tery, bur­glary of an un­oc­cu­pied con­veyance and crim­i­nal mis­chief.

† The NFL sus­pended Lions safety Jay­ron Kearse for the first three games of the sea­son for vi­o­lat­ing league pol­icy on sub­stance abuse. Kearse is el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate in all pre­sea­son prac­tices. He will be al­lowed to re­turn to the ac­tive ros­ter Sept. 28, af­ter the team’s Week 3 game at Ari­zona. The for­mer Vik­ing signed a one-year, $2 mil­lion deal with the Lions as a free agent.

ESPN SHAKES UP ‘MNF’ BOOTH

Steve Levy, Brian Griese and Louis Rid­dick re­port­edly will be the new an­nounc­ing team for ESPN’s “Mon­day Night Foot­ball.”

The trio has fa­mil­iar­ity work­ing to­gether. They called the late game in last sea­son’s Week 1 dou­ble­header be­tween the Bron­cos and the Raiders.

The “MNF” booth has had fre­quent changes since Mike Tirico de­parted for NBC in 2016. Tirico was the play-by-play voice for 10 sea­sons (2006-15) and teamed with Jon Gru­den for the last seven. Sean

McDonough took over for Tirico for 2016 and ’17 and worked with Gru­den.

Af­ter Gru­den left to take over as Raiders coach and McDonough sought to move back to col­lege foot­ball, ESPN went with the three-man booth of Joe Tes­si­tore, Ja­son Wit­ten and Booger McFar­land in 2018. Wit­ten strug­gled as an an­a­lyst and de­cided to re­turn to the play­ing field last year.

While rat­ings had in­creased the last two sea­sons, the an­nounc­ing was widely crit­i­cized. ESPN is hop­ing this booth has more stay­ing power.

BELICHICK NONCOMMITA­L ON NEW­TON

If Cam New­ton is to suc­ceed Tom Brady as the Pa­tri­ots’ start­ing quar­ter­back, he’ll have to earn the job in train­ing camp. Coach Bill Belichick stopped de­ci­sively short of nam­ing New­ton the team’s starter.

“That spot is the same as all the other spots on the team. We have a long way to go. We’ll see how things turn out,” Belichick said in his first pub­lic re­marks since New­ton signed with the team. “I can’t con­trol how play­ers per­form; that’s up to them. We’ll give every­one an op­por­tu­nity and see what hap­pens. I don’t know.” ✶

BRYNN AN­DER­SON/AP

An­to­nio Brown’s agent said the wide re­ceiver would not con­test the sus­pen­sion.

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