At the beginning of the regular season Antonio Brown was the biggest topic of conversation having ended his relationship with the Steelers after a tumultuous time there. A lot of people were wondering whether or not it was actually Antonio Brown’s fault that he there were so many issues. The Steelers agreed to trade Brown to the Raiders in exchange for a third and fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. This was a steal for the Raiders from a talent perspective but questions about Brown’s mental health began to loom over the whole situation. Nevertheless, with Antonio Brown’s numbers and talent it was hard to pass up on such a bargain. There were also rumors swirling around at the time that the Steelers were coming close to closing a deal with the Buffalo Bills. Let’s take a look at his performance stats with Pittsburgh.
You can see how productive he was with the Steelers and why they were willing to take such a chance with him. The bold numbers are metrics that he was able to lead the entire league in. He played in a majority of games, the issues were mainly internal although there were times in which he made mistakes that made it to the public eye. I guess the Raiders felt like they could handle him if they needed to. They sure did pay him enough to say so. They soon realized the mistakes they had made picking him up though.
August 3rd, 2019 – The public finds out that Antonio Brown had heavily blistered feet on his Instagram account. This would later be revealed to be the fact that he did not wear the proper footwear while doing a cryotherapy session. This would force him to miss 10 out of the 11 training camp practices with the Raiders. This is the first time that the Raiders Organization was starting to see there were going to be issues with Antonio Brown.
August 9th, 2019 – Just six days later Antonio Brown filed a grievance with the NFL in order to continue wearing his old helmet that he had been using his entire career. This was denied even though he kept pleading his case to the NFL. He eventually found a replacement helmet but this also did not meet the standards set by the new NFL rules. He filed a second grievance with the NFL after not practicing at all with the Raiders team. This was also denied. He finally decided to wear the Xenith Shadow helmet for the season.
September 4th, 2019 – So now he has missed a ton of practices because of his feet issues and then the helmet issues. This forced the General Manager Mike Mayock to fine him $54,000 because of unexcused absences and missing two team practice sessions. Instead of falling in line, Antonio Brown decided to post these fines on his Instagram account which opened up a whole new set of criticisms across the NFL. The very next day he got into a verbal argument with his General Manager and allegedly called him a “cracker” which he still denies. He also threatened physical violence against Mayock and was held back by several teammates at the time. He then decided to punt a football and said, “Fine me for that” to the General Manager.
September 7th, 2019 – Antonio Brown demands his release from the Oakland Raiders after they voided the guaranteed money in his contract. The next day, just hours before his 2019 salary would be guaranteed he was released but not before the Raiders fined him $215,000 for his altercation with Mike Mayock.
So this concludes his time with the Oakland Raiders organization. He ended up in the hole $269,950 during his time with them. I don’t think he ever made a dime from the organization. He never produced a single yard, touchdown, or even a completion. He never played a minute of football for the Raiders. I think Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock felt like they dodged a giant bullet with the entire situation. What gets me is what happens next in this guys career. He goes from pariah in the league to going to the best team in the league. The same day he gets released from the Oakland Raiders the New England Patriots picked him up. Not only did they pick him they signed him to a one-year contract worth up to $15 million with a signing bonus of $9 million. Two days later they added a second-year option of $20 million if he ended up playing the next season.
Sexual and personal misconduct allegations were being levied against him yet he continued to practice with the Patriots. He ended up making his debut with the Patriots during their Week 2 victory against the Miami Dolphins. He caught 4 passes on 8 targets for 56 yards. On September 20th, two weeks after getting to the Patriots, he was released after allegations kept coming in along with threatening text messages sent to one of the accusers surfaced. These text messages were sent after he got to the Patriots. After this happened he was pretty much shunned from the NFL.
After all of this he has made a statement today on ESPN about his remorse for everything that has happened and has made his apologies in an interview with Josina Anderson.
The question becomes whether or not he deserves another chance in the NFL. If he doesn’t play next season then he will find it much harder getting back into the NFL. There have been other receivers who have had to deal with this in the past. Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco being two of the more famous examples. Diva wide receivers are really just a thing of the past at this point. I say that but Antonio is a perfect example of a current diva and time will only tell whether or not he is able to come back into the NFL.
So my personal opinion on the matter is that there are enough wide receivers in the league already that I am not sure I would take a risk on Antonio Brown. There are six receivers projected in the first round of the upcoming draft. There were 24 receivers last season who had over 1000 yards receiving. With a few receivers in the waiting its a wonder why anyone would take a risk on him at this point. Honestly, I think someone will take a risk and that’s the sad state of the NFL in a nutshell. There are several teams that need a number 1 or 2 receiver on their team. Like I said most likely he will get another shot somewhere else. This won’t come as a surprise to anyone and even though he has caused destruction for teams in the past his numbers will entice someone to take chance on him. I can promise you that this is not going to be a story of redemption, this is not going to be one of those comeback stories you hear about. This is going to be a tragedy in the making. He doesn’t deserve another chance. He has had too many already.