In April 2023, former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown announced that he was stepping into the world of sports ownership. His avenue of choice was the National Arena Football League, where he assumed 95% ownership of the Albany Empire. However it has not been happy takeover. In the words of former head coach, Damon Ware, "It became all about him, not the football team," Ware said. "We built a wonderful organization over three years -- he came in and killed it."
However, despite being the back-to-back defending champions, the Empire have struggled this season. After blowing out the Orlando Predators 70-33 in their first game of the season, they have dropped the next three. This has come amongst allegations that Brown has missed multiple payments, with players and staff supposed to be paid on a weekly schedule. Now, Brown is considering another course of action for the team.
Brown To Play Arena Football
According to a representative for Brown, the former All-Pro wideout will be ready to play as early as May 27, when the Empire hosts the Fayetteville Mustangs. "He wants his team to win and give the community a good show," the rep tells us. "But, we will see." However, TMZ confirmed with the NAFL League Office that Brown had not yet submitted a player contract. The current leading receiver on the Empire is Nikolas Brassell, who has 151 yards and 2 touchdowns through four games.
Brown last played in the NFL in 2021, concluding a tumultuous stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers via a memorable exit from a game against the Jets. Before he began to run into numerous off-field issues around 2020, Brown was an elite receiver. A seven-time Pro Bowler and four All-Pro, Brown racked up 12,291 receiving yards and 83 receiving touchdowns during his career. This is a developing story and you'll find any updates here on HotNewHipHop. Do you want to see Brown back on the field? Let us know in the comments.