Things aren't going great for Antonio Brown in regard to his ownership of the Albany Empire, a team in the National Arena Football League. After taking over ownership in April, the back-to-back defending champions currently sit at 1-3 in the standings. Furthermore, Brown has reportedly missed multiple payment deadlines for players and staff. This was enough for the head coach to quit. That is even if Brown is the owner of the team, which we will discuss later.
Things have gotten bad enough in upstate New York that Brown is reportedly preparing to suit up for the team himself. The current leading receiver on the Empire is Nikolas Brassell, who has 151 yards and 2 touchdowns through four games. But he might not be the only former NFL star joining the team.
Brown Asks Newton To Join "In Some Capacity"
Antonio Brown WNYT's Rodger Wyland that he had spoken with former NFL quarterback Cam Newton about joining the team "in some capacity". However, Brown did not elaborate, meaning that it is unknown if the move would be as a player, owner, or even coach. As "owner" is trickier than it sounds, let's start with the player possibility. While a major stretch, especially with Newton eager to rejoin the NFL, maybe this is where Newton's next step is. Arena football doesn't have a traditional QB position, but Newton's speed could see him take the field as a receiver or rusher.
However, even the more likely prospect of an ownership role is unlikely. Despite claiming he owns the team, investigations have discovered that Brown has no actual control over the Empire. Abigal Rubel of The Times Union found that a "foreign national" named Antonio El-Allah is the actual owner and Brown is simply a representative of El-Allah's ownership trust. Furthermore, Rubel's investigation uncovered a bizarre web of shell corporations and layers of ownership both linked to Brown and other entities. Therefore, it's unclear how Newton would become involved, or who he would even be involved with. When asked directly who El-Allah was, Brown simply told Rubel "that's a good question". What do you think of the situation? Let us know in the comments.