Article by: Pete Caceci
After months of controversial situations with the Raiders’ organization, star WR Antonio Brown was released and then immediately picked up by the New England Patriots. They then settled on a 1-year $15 million deal that included a $9 million signing bonus.
This of course was not the first team that Antonio has caused problems with off the field. Just this past season, he sat out for the final game in response to a situation with Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger. He would immediately go to social media once the season was officially over in February and post that it was time to “move on”. Despite the fact that he was under contract for three more years, Brown wanted to leave the team and not look back. After intense back-and-forth disputes between the team and Antonio, they finally reached a decision and sent their star receiver to the Oakland Raiders in March for a third and fifth-round draft pick, and a contract that was $50.13 million with $30.13 million of that guaranteed.
When the dust settled, and the situation was finally at rest, problems began to arise again with Brown. This time it was with his new team. Not long after the OTAs began, the helmet policy for the league changed, and Brown was not pleased. He would go on to dispute the new ruling and would constantly clash with coaches as a result during practices. It was reported that he would sneak out of practice, put his old helmet back on, and even try to have it painted to match the new one he had to use. Brown would not quit, and by the start of the summer the Raiders could not believe what was unfolding in front of them. The so-called “HelmetGate” was just the beginning of the end. The team then placed Brown on the Non-Football Injury list with an issue that was not released to the public at the start of training camp. Questions began to rise from all over, and then the story was exploited. Brown’s feet were severely frostbitten after entering a cryotherapy machine while wearing unproper footwear. His absence from the team rose in speculation on whether he was going to be of any use at all. Just to add to the drama, he again would speak out to the team that he would never play for the Raiders unless he could use his old helmet.
Once September had hit, nothing had changed between the Raiders and Brown. The final straw began with team owner Mike Mayock getting into it with the All-Pro receiver. This was an unfortunate moment, because AB had finally settled on a helmet to use for the upcoming game and both of his feet were fully healed. Brown, during the exchange with Mayock, threatened to hit him in the face. With suspensions and multiple fines on the table, it was only a matter of time before a controversial decision was made. Then there was some light that shined, as coach Jon Gruden confirmed that Antonio Brown would play Week 1 against the Broncos after making a heartfelt apology to the team for his immature actions. Like everything else that had happened, the peace between team and player suddenly vanished. On Saturday morning, Brown took to social media and said, “You are gonna piss a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you,” ending the sentiment with a demand that the team should release him. Following this, reports were coming out that the team had fined Brown more than $200,000 and voided $29.125 million of his supposed guarantees. Later that day, the Oakland Raiders accepted the request and released Brown. Just after 5 p.m. on the same day that he was released, Antonio Brown took to both Instagram and Twitter, and announced that he was signing with the Patriots.
After going through this timeline of events, Antonio Brown should not deserve to be where he is today. He has burned plenty of bridges since taking part in the drama with the Steelers. Every person that I have seen on television, that has had some contact with him before being traded to the Patriots, has looked mentally exhausted and aggravated to the point where they do not want his name even brought up in interviews. Good examples to look at would be Jon Gruden and Ben Roethlisberger. It shocks me that the league has not put their foot down on Brown for the time and money that he has made these teams waste on him. My thoughts towards the Patriots organization, I hope you know what you have put yourselves into. Even for an elite business, with championships and excess, you probably do not know what can potentially happen if this man does not get what he wants, and this is coming from an Eagles fan.
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