The NFL is now investigating new troubling text messages Antonio Brown allegedly sent to a woman who accused him of sexual misconduct ... and the texts are damning.
The woman at the center of the investigation is the unnamed artist featured in a Sports Illustrated article published this week who said a naked AB inappropriately hit on her while she was painting a mural at his home in 2017.
The woman never went to authorities with her story ... but the description she gave to SI is a terrible look for the NFL star in the wake of a lawsuit filed another woman accusing him of rape.
The artist claims on Wednesday, Brown initiated a group text -- including her and some of his own associates -- trashing her for talking to SI and calling for his crew to begin digging into her background.
The most troubling text allegedly sent by Brown is this directive to his crew -- which was accompanied by a photo of her children.
"Those her kids and ig Eric she's awfully broke clearly."
Two other people included on the text chain respond, saying they will obey orders to gather info on the woman.
Clearly, the woman felt the texts were sent with the intention of scaring her -- so she went to the NFL to report the incident.
The NFL reportedly reached out to the woman on Thursday less than an hour after they were contacted. League investigators are reportedly scheduling a follow-up interview with the woman.
As for his NFL career, Brown is still active and expected to play for the New England Patriots on Sunday when they take on the NY Jets.
We reached out to Brown's attorney -- but he declined to comment.