Antonio Brown timeline: How he wore out his welcome in Pittsburgh, Oakland, New England and Tampa Bay


Um… what? That is the query undoubtedly within the forefront of many minds because it pertains to Antonio Brown, a large receiver who was heralded as one of the best within the Nationwide Soccer League not so way back and has since seen a exceptional fall from grace. 

The most recent incident is available in Week 17 of the 2021 season the place he walked out on his Tampa Bay Buccaneers squad in the course of their matchup with the New York Jets. Brown might be seen on the sideline taking off his shoulder pads, and strolling in the direction of the exit whereas flashing the peace signal in the direction of what’s now’s former membership as head coach Bruce Arians famous postgame that he’s “now not a Buc.”

Drama has adopted Brown round like a shadow over the previous couple of years and has seen him run via 4 totally different organizations at this level. In wanting on the timeline, which incorporates noting the rapidity of his character’s de-evolution, it is sufficient to make even probably the most bombastic NFL gamers — previous, current, and future — blush with an ungainly stage of discomfort.

January 2017 – The Fb Reside debacle

It was purported to be a grand time within the metropolis of Pittsburgh after Brown caught six passes for 108 yards to assist push the Steelers previous the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs within the AFC Divisional Spherical in an 18-16 nailbiter. As an alternative, the story turned what occurred subsequent within the locker room following the win. Brown pulled out his cellphone and live-streamed the locker room celebration on Fb — in violation of league coverage. This was additionally accomplished regardless of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger asking Brown to put low a bit on social media, and his choice to do the alternative shone a light-weight on head coach Mike Tomlin hurling no less than one sharp expletive round concerning the subsequent opponent to return — the New England Patriots within the AFC Convention Championship — for which he issued a proper apology by way of press convention.

Late January 2017 – Every thing’s ‘tremendous’

Only one week later, the Steelers took motion. Brown was reportedly fined $10,000 by the group for streaming Pittsburgh’s locker room celebration, as first reported by Jay Glazer. Tomlin knowledgeable his gamers throughout a group assembly this week that he was fining Brown. Tomlin disciplined Brown, however the matter was made worse when it was found Fb had paid Brown $244,000 in the beginning of the 2017 season to create content material for them. And so, his fall from grace in Pittsburgh started. 

It began with a gradual boil at first, although, with the following 2017 season being principally “quiet” — other than Brown battling harm. 

December 2018 – We talkin’ about follow?

Not but eradicated from playoff rivalry and nonetheless within the working for the AFC North crown heading into their Week 16 battle with the New Orleans Saints, the Steelers had defeated the rival Patriots one week prior and felt good about ending the season robust and carrying momentum into the postseason. The perennial Professional Bowler would go on to torch the Saints for 185 yards and two TDs on 14 receptions, however the subsequent few days noticed a displeased and apathetic Brown roaming the halls. 

A heated dispute with a Roethlisberger throughout a Wednesday walkthrough escalated to the purpose the place Brown threw a soccer on the QB, and the wideout opted to then skip the remaining practices main as much as the group’s Week 17 battle with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Brown was benched for that recreation, and whereas the official group stance was injury-related, the truth may neither have been farther from the reality nor hidden anymore from the general public eye. The reign of Brown in Pittsburgh was at an finish, and the ultimate chapter with the group was messy. The world would by no means see Brown in a Steelers’ jersey once more, and teammates would later reveal the tip had been years within the making.

February 2019 – The anti-Valentine

Two days forward of February 14, Brown took to his beloved social media accounts to each thank the Steelers’ fandom and proclaimed it was time to “transfer on“. It is a sentiment the group itself mirrored to a level, however nonetheless had sufficient motivation to aim a restore within the relationship. In any case, Brown was nonetheless beneath contract for 3 extra years and coming off of a 1,297-yard season, however the harm had already been accomplished and no quantity of Repair-A-Flat was going to reinflate that tire. The sidewall was utterly shredded and the Steelers lastly admitted it to themselves and everybody else. 

March 2019 – For whom the Bell tolls

The Brown choice was a troublesome name made that rather more difficult by the holdout of All-Professional working again Le’Veon Bell, whom the group was additionally locked in a battle with. In the end, they opted to not place a transition tag on Bell — permitting him to stroll in free company — adopted by swallowing their delight and starting the duty of searching for commerce suitors for Brown.

It was the tip of an period within the Metal Metropolis.

March 2019 – Dealer Joe

As daring and braggadocios as ever, Brown made it clear he was tremendous by no means suiting up once more for the Steelers. It was primarily, as he went on to explain it, his means or the freeway.

“I do not even should play soccer if I do not need,” he informed Jeff Darlington of ESPN. “I do not even want the sport. I needn’t show nothing to anybody. In the event that they wanna play, they going to play by my guidelines. If not, I needn’t play. Clearly, I would like the sport, however I do not want the sport. It is a distinction.”

That is not precisely the extent of dedication to the game potential commerce suitors need to hear, however the skill of Brown was simply too good to disregard for some golf equipment. With the Tennessee Titans, Washington Redskins and Oakland Raiders all entertaining a doable commerce for the mercurial wideout, it was the latter who emerged as frontrunner behind the scenes — albeit it with reservations of their very own. The issue in Oakland was that they had despatched Amari Cooper to the Dallas Cowboys in Week 8 by way of commerce, and wanted to safe a brand new No. 1 receiver. It additionally helped that head coach Jon Gruden was lathering on the mouth simply eager about what Brown may do for quarterback Derek Carr and an offense that ranked close to the underside of the league in passing throughout the 2018 season.

“[Brown] can run each route you dream up,” Gruden mentioned in December previous free company. “I say that about different receivers, however he can run double transfer. He can run by you. He can run crossing routes. 

“He is excellent after the catch. What is the best factor about this man, I’ve informed all of our receivers, should you get an opportunity to observe him follow, you may see what unlocks the greatness in him. He is the hardest-working man, I believe, in soccer. Hardest-working participant I’ve ever seen follow. 

“I’ve seen Jerry Rice. I’ve seen a variety of good ones. However I put Antonio Brown on the high. If there are any younger wideouts on the market, I would go watch him follow. You determine your self why he is such participant.”

A few of these phrases would come again to hang-out Gruden in methods he had by no means even dreamed of.

March 2019 – What can Brown do for you?

And so it went, nonetheless, the Raiders despatched a 2019 third- and fifth-round decide to the Steelers in alternate for Brown solely days after his questionable soccer dedication feedback, and what ought to’ve been a contemporary begin quickly grow to be a bag of rotten fruit.

Brown had three years and about $39 million remaining on the large contract extension he signed with the Steelers again in 2017. Nonetheless, the star large receiver had his eyes set on extra. Buying and selling for Brown meant restructuring his contract and including extra money to it — the Raiders knew that earlier than buying him. Shortly after the commerce, Brown negotiated a brand new cope with Oakland that can pay him $50.13 million over the subsequent three seasons. This deal included one other  $30.13 million in assured cash. 

Could 2019 – The Hell-met

With the beginning of OTAs got here a wind of change for Oakland, a group that completed 4-12 after awarding Gruden a 10-year, $100 million contract to climb down out of the ESPN Monday Evening Soccer sales space and return to their group after a near-decade lengthy hiatus from the sport. Gruden and proprietor Mark Davis then satisfied Mike Mayock to depart broadcasting to hitch them as new Basic Supervisor, and the group felt issues had quickly begun to return collectively. If truth be told, nothing might be farther from the reality, and for one key motive:

Brown did not like his helmet.

In what has grow to be a narrative pulled proper out of probably the most twisted Edgar Allen Poe poem, Brown was so irate concerning the NFL’s new coverage that will primarily decertify his longtime helmet and power him into a brand new one which he clashed overtly with coaches at OTAs over the difficulty. This included him reportedly storming out of shape and making an attempt to sneak his previous helmet onto the sector, going as far as attempting to color it to reflect the mandated helmets within the hopes nobody would discover. 

Spoiler alert: They seen, and it did not finish properly.

Following a number of exchanges over the difficulty, the group broke for summer season break and believed HelmetGate was behind them going into coaching camp. 

Late July/Early August 2019 – Frozen 

The Raiders had been incorrect but once more concerning the mindset of Brown, as a result of he was not accomplished attempting to take the sector together with his previous helmet, and once more he clashed with the coaches over it. This hadn’t been made public simply but, although, and principally as a result of there was an much more bewildering headline that emerged with the newly-acquired … properly… headache. 

The group positioned Brown on the Non-Soccer Harm record with a non-disclosed concern to start out coaching camp, however they eliminated him instantly thereafter. Questions emerged surrounding the character of Brown’s harm, and the reality turned out to be stranger than fiction.

The underside of his ft had been severely frostbitten after he entered a cryotherapy machine carrying improper footwear and he was despatched to a foot specialist to find out the extent of the harm. Initially listed as day-to-day, Brown’s absence has since modified to what can solely be described as indefinite, with conflicting experiences now swirling about that declare he is ghosted the Raiders and their makes an attempt to speak with him — with an alternate report claiming there have been discussions and he is anticipated to return “quickly”. He took to IG to put up a stomach-turning picture of the soles of his ft, revealing simply how unhealthy they regarded.

The [additional] drawback is it would not really matter in the intervening time when his ft heal as a result of it is rumored Brown threatened to by no means play soccer in any respect for the Raiders if he is not allowed to put on his previous helmet. The Raiders have monetary recourse if Brown holds true to his risk — with an arbitration listening to set to happen after he filed a grievance towards the NFL — however nothing may’ve ready the Raiders for this circus of occasions. 

This, in fact, harkens again to March when he made it clear he would not want soccer, and whereas the Raiders selected to disregard that — seemingly assuming it was merely angst hurled towards the Steelers — they’re discovering out it is merely how he feels. 

On the finish of the day, it is Brown’s means or the freeway.

“I am actually not into goals anymore, okay? I am into f—– nightmares,” Gruden famously mentioned on the most recent season of HBO’s Arduous Knocks, talking on how necessary the Tremendous Bowl is. “You gotta finish any person’s dream.”

Sadly for him, his personal All-Professional receiver is likely to be the one which ends his, and earlier than the 2 may even roll off the bed. 

Early September – The Confrontation

To return again full circle from the preliminary query on this timeline: Um… what?

Because the Raiders ready to tackle the Denver Broncos within the common season opener, issues had principally fallen quiet on the Brown entrance. The mercurial wideout had lastly positioned a helmet he may tolerate — albeit a custom-made one — and his as soon as frostbitten ft had been seemingly extra of a nonissue at this level. The would-be silence was shattered in a second’s discover, nonetheless, with Adam Schefter of ESPN reporting Brown “received into it” with Mayock in a disagreement that would result in the group suspending the All-Professional wideout for conduct detrimental to the group. CBS Sports activities NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that’s undoubtedly a risk:

To make issues worse, it is also being reported Brown went so far as threatening to hit Mayock “within the face,” per Ian Rapoport of NFL Community, earlier than punting a ball and yelling out “now tremendous me for that!” Whereas there was an underlying rift rising between Mayock and Brown — largely as a consequence of each concern talked about above — this takes issues to not often seen ranges of anarchy by a large receiver. It is not the primary time an NFL participant has challenged administration, neither is it probably the most nuclear; but it surely’s actually within the house of the latter. 

With almost $30 million in assured cash on the road with the Raiders’ coming choice, Brown’s time in Oakland appeared on the bubble. 

Fewer than 24 hours later – The Reversal

Fewer than 24 hours after the supposed suspension was reported, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden confirmed on Friday that Brown wouldn’t be suspended for Week 1 after Brown gave an emotional apology to his teammates. In reality, Gruden additionally made it clear the expectation is that Brown will play in Week 1 throughout Oakland’s common season opener towards the Denver Broncos.

Along with the Gruden information, a number of ex-players got here out and gave their tackle Brown, with Danny Woodhead siding with the Raiders, Terrell Owens imploring Brown to “take some steps again” and former teammate Ryan Clark saying he and Troy Polamalu had been furious at Brown for his conduct again in 2012.

Later that night time – “Ain’t No Extra Video games”

When the mud settled Friday night, it appeared the Antonio Brown saga was lastly over, and the receiver could be on the sector for Week 1, one thing that appeared unattainable at instances throughout the week. Then Antonio Brown posted a virtually two-minute video to his YouTube feed that appeared to characteristic a non-public cellphone name with Gruden the place the Raiders coach seems to inform the receiver to “Please cease this (express) and simply play soccer,” amongst different issues.

You possibly can see the total transcript of the video right here.

Gruden apparently did not thoughts the video, in keeping with a report by Chris Mortensen:

However …

The subsequent morning – “Launch me”

On Saturday morning, the saga took its subsequent twist, with Antonio Brown posting on Instagram, “You’re gonna piss lots of people off once you begin doing what’s finest for you,” together with a remark that implored the Raiders to launch him.

Moments after, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the group fined Brown greater than $200,000 and voided $29.125 million of his ensures, with CBS Sports activities NFL insider Jason La Canfora confirming the report of the voiding of his ensures and including extra particulars:

Afterward Saturday, the Raiders honored his request and launched the receiver.

The Raiders, they flip to their different choices at receiver in what’s anticipated to be a rebuilding 12 months.

Welcome to the Patriots

Simply after 5 p.m. on Saturday, Antonio Brown introduced on Instagram and Twitter that he was signing with the New England Patriots. 

AB is accused of sexual assault and rape, allegations he denies

The Brown saga took a flip when a lawsuit filed within the Southern District of Florida by bodily coach Britney Taylor claimed that Brown sexually assaulted her on a number of events during the last three years, together with one “forcible” rape. Taylor, a former gymnast who attended Central Michigan similtaneously Brown and met the large receiver there, filed a lawsuit claiming Brown sexually assaulted her on three totally different events from June 2017 via Could 2018. A copy of the lawsuit may be discovered right here.

For the reason that lawsuit was filed, Brown has launched his personal assertion by way of his lawyer, denying “each allegation within the lawsuit.” The Patriots additionally launched an announcement, saying that the group “takes these allegations very severely” and that the NFL is planning to research the accusations. 

This stays an ongoing investigation.

Brown makes his Patriots debut in Week 2 vs. Miami

Regardless of the continuing investigation into the civil go well with filed towards him, Brown suited up for the Patriots in Week 2 towards the Dolphins. In his first motion with Tom Brady and New England, Brown racked up 4 receptions for 56 yards and a landing. At one level, the Brady-Brown rapport regarded prefer it had been a number of years within the making when the duo related on three consecutive passes earlier than the veteran quarterback discovered him for the rating.

Patriots launch Brown previous to Week 3

Simply once you thought New England is likely to be in line for his or her subsequent Randy Moss-esque revival story, this story got here crashing to an finish. Simply hours after head coach Invoice Belichick abruptly walked out of a press convention after rising pissed off with questions on Brown, the Patriots determined to launch the star large receiver.

Following his launch, the Patriots launched the next assertion:

“The New England Patriots are releasing Antonio Brown. We admire the exhausting work of many individuals over the previous 11 days, however we really feel that it’s best to maneuver in a special route right now.”

Brown confirmed the discharge on social media, saying, “Thanks for the chance (Patriots) #GoWinIt.” His agent Drew Rosenhaus additionally took to social media to launch an announcement on the matter.

“It is unlucky issues did not work out with the Patriots,” Rosenhaus mentioned. “However Antonio is wholesome and is wanting ahead to his subsequent alternative within the NFL. He needs to play the sport he loves and he hopes to play for one more group quickly.”

2020 offseason

Following his launch by New England, Brown publicly mulled retirement on quite a few events on social media solely to alter his thoughts only a few days later. On July 31, 2020, the NFL formally suspended Brown for the primary eight week of the 2020 season for a number of violations of the league’s personal-conduct coverage. 

Brown indicators with Bucs, helps win Tremendous Bowl LIV

On October 24, 2020, Brown visited with the Buccaneers and signed a one-year cope with the membership simply three days later. He was reinstated by the league on Nov. 3 of that 12 months and made his Bucs debut on Sunday Evening Soccer in Week 9. In eight video games performed over the common season, Brown hauled in 45 passes for 483 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

Tampa Bay would finally advance to Tremendous Bowl LIV the place Brown would show to be a key determine within the Buccaneers’ 31-9 victory over the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. He completed that recreation 5 catches for 22 yards and a landing in what resulted within the first Tremendous Bowl title of his profession.   

Suspended for faking vaccination standing

After re-signing with the Buccaneers final offseason, Brown had himself a powerful begin to the 2021 marketing campaign. Over his first 5 video games performed, Brown recorded 418 yards receiving on 29 catches and 4 touchdowns. He then missed time as a consequence of harm earlier than being suspended for 3 video games by the NFL for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols by misrepresenting his vaccination standing

Whereas there was some query as as to whether or not the Buccaneers would carry Brown again after the suspension, Bruce Arians did be aware a number of weeks in the past that it was in one of the best curiosity of the group to welcome him again following accidents to Chris Godwin and Mike Evans. 

Walks out on Bucs in Week 17

Antonio Brown’s last recreation with the Buccaneers got here in Week 17 when he walked out on the group in the course of their matchup towards the New York Jets. In the midst of the third quarter, Brown might be seen taking his uniform off and strolling off of the sector whereas flashing the peace signal. 

In keeping with Fox Sports activities’ Jay Glazer, Arians tried to get Brown into the sport and he refused. Arians once more tried to get him within the recreation and he as soon as extra refused, which is when Arians informed Brown to depart. Following the sport, Arians famous that Brown is “now not a Buc.” 



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