By: Gus Wilson
Antonio Brown is best described as one of the best wide receivers in the National Football League since he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010. In fact, he is one of the more talented receivers of all time. While Brown is beyond dominant on the football field, in the past couple of years, it has been more and more difficult for him to stay on the field.
It started as many NFL players do with Antonio Brown requesting a trade in early 2019. He expressed his anger with starting quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and head coach Mike Tomlin. The Steelers were minutes away from trading him to the Buffalo Bills before the deal fell through and he was sent to the Oakland Raiders for a 3rd and 5th round pick in return. The first major conflict in Oakland came a few months later in August where Brown filed a grievance against the NFL because he was no longer able to wear his helmet of choice. He threatened the NFL with retirement. Current general manager of the Raiders Mike Mayock fined Brown $54,000 for skipping team practices and events during the helmet ordeal. It was rumored Brown then called Mayock a “cracker” and led to his eventual release.
On the same day Brown was released, he agreed to sign with the New England Patriots. He only appeared in one game with the Patriots against the Miami Dolphins, where he posted 56 yards and a touchdown. His time in New England would soon come to an end. Brown was accused of three different instances of sexual assault. These led to him being cut by Nike, the Patriots, and in January of 2020, his agent. For the 2020-2021 season, the NFL suspended Brown for the first 8 games of the season.
However, Brown was signed by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to team up with Tom Brady once again. He played in the final 8 games of the season for the Buccaneers and helped them eventually beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Superbowl. His performance in the 12 games he appeared in for Tampa Bay was enough for him to be resigned by the team for the 2021-2022 season. In December 2021, Brown was once again suspended by the NFL. The reasoning behind this suspension was that he gave the NFL a fake vaccination card and was following vaccinated player protocols for the beginning of the season when he wasn’t. Brown has since been vaccinated. Then came Week 17 of the 2021 season. Late in the third quarter of the Buccaneers game against the New York Jets, Antonio Brown was seen ripping off his pads and jerseys on the Tampa Bay sideline after talking to fellow teammate Mike Evans. He then ripped his undershirt and gloves off and ran onto the field, hyping up the crowd and running into the tunnel. Everyone in the stadium and on social media was beyond confused about the situation. Brown explained his ankle was in serious pain and the coaches ignored him and told him to leave if he wasn’t going to play. Head coach Bruce Arians denied having any knowledge of the injury. In the early morning of January 6th, Brown posted a series of statements explaining his injury and how coaches reacted and text messages from trainers backing up his side of the story. Brown is now being accused of begging for more targets and leaving when he didn’t get targeted.
Antonio Brown has since then been cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. No one is sure about the future of Brown in the NFL. Many assume Brown has a serious case of CTE and needs help mentally. If that is the case, we hope Brown gets the help he needs.