BROWN SOCKED WITH EIGHT-GAME SUSPENSION
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.” ✶
Antonio Brown’s agent said the wide receiver would not contest the suspension.