The official end of Josh Brown’s Giants career seems to be approaching rapidly.
Coach Ben McAdoo said Monday that the front office spent most of the first day back from the weekend trip to London in discussions about how to handle the kicker, who is on the commissioner’s exempt list and facing a reopened investigation by the NFL into charges of domestic violence against him. McAdoo said he expected to join those discussions either Monday evening or Tuesday morning.
“We’ll jump in with both feet and we’ll see how it goes,” McAdoo said, indicating both the importance of the meetings and that a decision could come swiftly.
Brown has not been with the team since Thursday, when the Giants made a last-minute, post-practice decision to leave him behind on their trip to London that night. He is not allowed to practice or play in games while on the exempt list, but he is permitted to attend meetings and other non-football team events at the facility with the team’s permission.
McAdoo said Brown was not at the facility Monday — a players’ day off — and did not seem to expect him there Tuesday when players report for their final day of work before the bye week.
While Brown, 37, waits to find out if he ever will kick again for the Giants or in the NFL, an opportunity that looks exceedingly unlikely, he reportedly will not appeal his roster designation, which took place Friday. He has until Wednesday to file that appeal, and ESPN reported he has no plans to do so.
Brown does not count against the team’s 53-man roster — the Giants signed Robbie Gould on Saturday and he kicked Sunday in a 17-10 win over the Rams, another indication that Brown is even less likely to return — but he will collect his full base salary of $1.225 million for the season while on the exempt list.
Brown served a one-game suspension in Week 1 this season related to his arrest in May 2015, when he was charged with assaulting his then-wife, Molly, at their home in the state of Washington. Prosecutors quickly dropped those charges, but the police investigation continued. On Wednesday, the King County sheriff’s office released documents in which Brown admitted to abusing his wife over the course of years in journal entries and in a letter to friends.
The Giants and the NFL have been criticized for being too lenient in their one-game punishment of Brown and for deciding on disciplinary action before police had finished their investigation. The team and the NFL did not have access to the recently released documents until Wednesday, when they were made public. Those graphic accounts, coupled with public outrage — including vocal protests from women’s groups, as well as Annie Apple, the mother of Giants rookie Eli Apple — make it hard to see how the team can keep Brown on the roster much longer.
Giants players continue to try to reconcile what they are reading about Brown with the player they knew in the locker room. Appearing on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Monday, running back Rashad Jennings said his initial reaction is “like most people’s. It was hard to deal with.
“It’s unfortunate because I know him as a teammate and as somebody who I’ve seen be a leader. But it’s not anything we support. I don’t support domestic violence. Nobody in the Giants organization supports that — Josh Brown himself doesn’t even support that. So the locker room was like, that’s tough for him, his family, his loved ones, everybody involved.”
Jennings called Brown “a good friend and a great man.” Speaking for the team, he said: “We support him, we’re here for him. A lot of people want to attack, but we love and pray for him, just like anybody else, anybody in the nation that is dealing with stuff like that. [We’re] hoping that he gets the right help. Hoping that he gets a chance to get back on his feet how he needs to be and continue to move forward with his life.”
Jennings said he prays “that he can get the right kind of help that he needs, his wife, his children, everybody that’s involved, because it doesn’t just affect one person, it doesn’t just affect this organization. Football is small relative to life, and so this is something that is heartfelt.”