The NFL could put Antonio Brown on paid leave after he was accused of rape and sexual assault

The NFL is considering placing Antonio Brown on paid leave after he was accused of rape and sexual assault, according to The Washington Post.

A federal lawsuit filed on Monday in the Southern District of Florida accused Brown of exploiting, sexually assaulting, and raping his former trainer Britney Taylor on numerous occasions between June 2017 and May 2018.

Brown has denied the accusations through his attorney. However, according to the Post, he could be placed on the NFL commissioner's "exempt list" whilst the case remains open. The Post cited "multiple people familiar with the situation."

While on paid leave, players are not permitted to attend games or practice, meaning the wide receiver would have to wait to make his New England Patriots debut.

"We are reviewing the matter," NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy told the Post without further comment.

Another source told the Post that placing Brown on the exempt list is "possible" and something that the NFL is "going to have to focus on."

The league is investigating the allegations, with NFL representatives planning to meet with Britney Taylor next week.

Read more: Bill Belichick ended his press conference after 4 minutes of being peppered with questions about Antonio Brown

Brown joined the New England Patriots on a one-year deal on Saturday, only hours after being cut by the Oakland Raiders.

The 31-year-old controversially asked to be released by the Raiders via Instagram last week, saying: "I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines.

"Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years. 'I'm not mad at anyone. I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong.' Release me @raiders."

His wish was granted shortly after, and he celebrated by posting again, this time with a video on YouTube, in which he phoned his Grandma and said: "They freed me Grandma! They freed me! Ha-ha! Ahhh, God is the greatest."

The Patriots will play their second game of the new season on Sunday, when they face the Miami Dolphins at the Hard Rock Stadium.

It is unclear whether Brown will play.

Read more:

New lawsuit accuses Antonio Brown of raping his fitness trainer

Tom Brady is offering to let Antonio Brown stay at his $39.5 million house while he adjusts to his move to the Patriots

Raiders fans chant "F— A.B." after touchdown in first game since Antonio Brown's tumultuous departure as Oakland defeats Denver

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