The New Orleans Saints brought free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown in for a workout Friday, along with five other receivers, but head coach Sean Payton told reporters afterward they do not plan on signing any of them at the moment.
Payton said they brought in practice squad-eligible and veteran receivers to compile an updated list of who would be available for the playoffs if any of their roster players were injured.
“We worked them out. Gave them physicals. Mainly doing our due diligence on all of those players,” Payton said.
Sean Payton on signing Brown: ‘not now’
Brown, who most recently played for the New England Patriots for one game this season, is the most notable receiver to work out for the Saints. He was released in September after allegations of sexual assault against him surfaced. It was in addition to behavioral issues he had with the Oakland Raiders and Pittsburgh Steelers before it.
Sean Payton spoke at considerable length about Antonio Brown today in his press availability. The basic essence of it is that he’s doing his homework and figuring out if they’re comfortable with the player.— Luke Johnson (@ByLukeJohnson) December 27, 2019
Payton said earlier this year the Saints were not interested in signing the veteran. When that was brought up Friday by Katherine Terrell of The Athletic, Payton said he “probably wasn’t telling you the truth a few months ago.”
A large part of the reason the Saints may not have signed Brown Friday, or in the immediate future, is that it isn’t guaranteed he’ll be eligible to play. While he’s not on the commissioner’s exempt list currently as the NFL investigates the allegations of sexual assault, he could be placed on it if a team signs him, per the NFL.
Payton said he’d like clarity on the player’s eligibility before taking any steps.
Sean Payton said the Saints would need to get clarity from the league on whether Antonio Brown would be eligible to play this postseason if they signed him. Said for now they’re doing their due diligence and he was one of six receivers they auditioned.— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) December 27, 2019
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was with him at the workout in New Orleans and met with Saints officials, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported.
“Antonio had a very good visit today and we will continue our discussions with the Saints,” he said, per Schefter.
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