This season has gotten more and more bizarre as it progresses for arena football team The Albany Empire, which is 95% owned by former NFL Pro Bowler Antonio Brown. Or at least, we think it is. That’s just one of the numerous stories that have come out of from upstate New York regarding the franchise.
Brown told WNYT that he plans to suit up for the Empire this season, and as early as their next home game on May 27. The seven-time Pro Bowler hasn’t played since he casually strolled off the field in the middle of a game against the New York Jets in 2021.
After that, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers washed their hands of him, as have the Steelers, Patriots, and Raiders previously. With very few options staring back at him, he chose to announce his retirement after just 11 NFL seasons.
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Brown had initially expressed interest just a week ago about joining the growing stockade of talent in Baltimore that’s surrounding franchise quarterback Lamar Jackson. With Jackson signed to a long-term deal during this year’s NFL Draft, the Ravens have also added weapons like receivers Odell Beckham Jr and Nelson Agholor.
Brown even sent out a tweet that depicted himself in a Ravens uniform and asserting that he was “coming back” in the Purple and Black. However, it turned out to be a one-sided affair as the team made no public overtures in return.
Now, it appears as if Brown will play in the pinball-style offense of arena football, and it’s one he and his family know rather well. His father ‘Touchdown’ Eddie Brown, is widely considered the greatest player ever in the genre, having played from 1994-2003.
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League rules don’t prohibit a team owner from suiting up for his own team. So, that won’t be an issue. However, it’s possible that it wouldn’t matter. Some reports have surfaced out of Albany that Antonio Brown isn’t even the franchise’s true majority stockholder. Brown, himself, has alluded to this, throwing out a few stray quotes about not owning the club. However, that aspect of the story remains fuzzy to this day.
What everyone does know – at least for now – is that we will soon see AB catching passes again soon.
That’s the story for this week. However, you might want to stay tuned to The Antonio Brown Show for more. Perhaps the next episode will contain a guest star or some kind of ‘cliffhanger ending’.
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