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As Antonio Brown's problems mount, the NFL's willingness to look at him through a football lens fades

MOBILE, Alabama — During a wandering conversation on Tuesday night with a high-ranking NFL executive about the impending free agency of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and the medical outlook of Alabama draft prospect Tua Tagovailoa, the future of mercurial wideout Antonio Brown was broached. More specifically, a single question was posed: At this stage of Brown’s spiraling life-trajectory, what would it take for a team to consider him as an option?

“I think a mental health aspect would have to be a part of the process,” the executive said. “I think you would have to start there.