Antonio Brown Wants to Play Again, Two Days After Retiring For Third Time

Two days after hinting he was considering retirement for a third time, Antonio Brown has called out the NFL for "dragging its feet" with the investigation over his conduct, urging the league to swiftly wrap up the probe and allow him to return to football.

Last September, the star wideout was accused of sexual assault by his former personal trainer Britney Taylor and he was subsequently accused of sexual misconduct by a different woman.

In November, the NFL met Brown to discuss the allegations against him and began an investigation into his conduct, which remains ongoing.

"The fact that you refuse to provide a deadline and the reason for the fact you won't resolve your investigations is completely unacceptable," he wrote on Instagram on Wednesday night.

"I demand you provide me clarity on this situation immediately if you really care about my wellbeing. My legal team continues to ask and you provide no answers. How is it that the league can just drag it's feet on any investigation it chooses on players and we just have to sit there in limbo?"

Brown hasn't played professional football since September last year, when he was cut by the New England Patriots after making just a solitary appearance for the franchise.

Until the NFL concludes its investigation, Brown will not be permitted to sign for any of the 32 NFL franchises. The seven-time Pro Bowl selection called for the league to speed up its legal process to allow him to speak to interested teams.

"Need an update so I can talk to these teams properly," he continued. "They're waiting on you NFL let's get this thing moving! We've got history to make!!"

The statement is the latest entry in an ever-growing folder of cryptic social media posts Brown has shared as he looks to find a way back into the NFL.

Earlier this week, the former Central Michigan alumnus said in a series of tweets that it was "time to walk away," adding he had nothing left to accomplish in the game.

"At this point the risk is greater than the reward," he tweeted. "Thank you everyone who [has] been part of this journey. I sincerely thank you for everything. Life goes on."

Is it time to walk away i done ✅ everything in the game ?!!

— AB (@AB84) July 20, 2020

at this point the risk is greater than the reward thank you everyone who been part of this journey i sincerely thank you for everything! life goes on 84!

— AB (@AB84) July 20, 2020

It was the third time Brown had threatened to retire. In September last year, he vowed to never play again after the Patriots cut him and he haggled with the franchise over the guarantees in his contract.

A month earlier, while still with the Oakland Raiders, he threatened to quit football if the NFL didn't allow him to wear the same helmet he's used for the last 10 years, before filing two grievances against the league.

Brown's career has veered off track over the last 18 months, since he left the Pittsburgh Steelers for the Raiders in March.

The wide receiver's departure from Pittsburgh was acrimonious as he demanded the franchise, which had drafted him in 2010, traded him to Oakland.

Brown's stint with the Raiders, however, was disastrous. He missed most of training camp with frostbite on his feet, incurred after not wearing the appropriate footwear in a cryotherapy chamber.

After threatening to quit football over his helmet dispute, Brown was fined for conduct detrimental to the team, which led to him getting into a heated confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock.

The Raiders subsequently suspended the receiver, before naming the team for the season opener against the Denver Broncos, and ultimately released him a few days later.

The Patriots signed Brown as free agent but any hopes he could get his career back on track soon vanished, as accusations of sexual assault surfaced and New England cut him after just one game.

The 32-year-old has since launched an apology tour, trying to rebuild bridges with the Steelers and their quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, as well as Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

He has also worked out with several NFL quarterbacks.

In April he was spotted training with Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson and wide receiver Marquise "Hollywood" Brown and the following month he worked out with Washington Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins.

Earlier this month, Brown shared a video of himself on the field with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

Antonio Brown, New England Patriots
Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots looks on prior to the game between the Miami Dolphins and the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. Michael Reaves/Getty