NFC Notes: Bucs, AB, Parsons, Bears

Antonio Brown just won a Super Bowl and then inked a new one-year deal worth up to $6.25MM with the Buccaneers last month, but his off-field issues don’t appear to be over just yet. The oft-embattled receiver is dealing with yet another lawsuit, Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times writes. As Baker notes, this stems from an already settled criminal case where a moving truck driver alleged assault and battery.

Brown was arrested for the incident last year, and he pleaded no contest in June, receiving two years of probation. Brown broke the driver’s car key and “proceeded to verbally and physically attack (Tumanov), causing severe personal injuries,” the lawsuit, which is seeking more than $30K in damages, alleges. Brown’s attorney issued a statement decrying the suit and painting it as nothing more than cash-grab. Since the criminal matter was already resolved, this shouldn’t have any impact on Brown’s standing with the league or status with the Buccaneers.

Here’s more from around the NFC as we wrap up the week:

  • The Cowboys just drafted Micah Parsons 12th overall, and it sounds like they’re planning a diverse role for the Penn State linebacker. Parsons has been working at middle linebacker so far during the offseason program, Jon Machota of The Athletic tweets. Parsons told the media that coaches plan on using him in the box as more of a run defender on first and second down, and have him rushing the passer on third down. Parsons opted out of the 2020 season, but he had five sacks in 2019, so he definitely has some pass-rush upside. Dallas hasn’t gotten very much pass-rush help from fellow highly drafted linebackers Leighton Vander Esch (1.5 sacks in 35 career games) or Jaylon Smith (nine sacks in 64 career games), so it sounds like they want to do things a bit differently with Parsons.
  • The Bears announced a significant change to their offseason program on Sunday night. Chicago revealed they will “no longer hold” previously scheduled OTAs from May 25th-27th. They’ll now begin OTAs on June 1st. Since only two sets had been planned, this means the OTAs are getting cut in half. This could be a sort of compromise between the players and the team to ensure that the second set has “strong participation,” Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune suggests in a tweet. As you’re surely aware by now, there’s been widespread opposition among players to many of these voluntary workouts, so it’s not surprising to see teams adapting and making gestures like this.
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