MIAMI — Roger Goodell knew the question was coming.
So perhaps it shouldn't come as a surprise that when he was asked about Antonio Brown at his Super Bowl week state of the league press conference on Wednesday, the NFL commissioner was prepared.
"In Antonio's situation, I think the first thing is, for all of us, to think about the well-being of Antonio," Goodell answered when asked about the league's investigation into Brown. "To understand what Antonio's going through. We don't talk about the wellness of our players publicly, but I would tell you that you can be sure that the NFL and the NFLPA have a tremendous amount of resources that are available to all players. They are going to be made available to Antonio."
A 7-time Pro Bowl selection, Brown appeared in just one game during the 2019 season. After engaging in bizarre behavior throughout training camp, the 31-year-old wide receiver was released by the Oakland Raiders before signing with the New England Patriots.
The 4-time first-team All-Pro's Patriots run, however, was limited to just one game. After being accused of sexual misconduct and allegedly sending threatening text messages to the accuser, Brown was released by New England and currently remains under investigation by the NFL.
Last week, Brown's saga took another turn when he was arrested and charged with battery and burglary in Florida. As a part of his arrest, a judge ordered that Brown undergo a mental evaluation.
“I put myself in a bad predicament,’’ Brown told USA Today on Tuesday in his first public comments since the arrest. “I’m out of it now, man. Unfortunate situation, but we don’t make excuses and we’re going to make the best of it.’’
The 2-time receptions leader also added, "I’m planning to come back to the NFL.’"
Goodell wasn't willing to go that far -- at least not yet -- noticeably avoiding answering about the league's investigation or Brown's football future. He did, however, make clear that as far as his mental well being, Brown has an ally in the NFL.
"We want to help get him on the right track, and get him in a position where he is in a zone where he thinks he can be successful in life," Goodell said. "And we are confident that can happen. We want to work to do that and from our standpoint, that's the first step. The first step is making sure that we're doing everything to help Antonio."