Antonio Brown is now a member of the Patriots, but it is only because of what happened with the Raiders. Oakland released Brown after a series of bizarre behavior since training camp began.
Leading up to Week 1, Brown had a series of social media posts that were critical of the Raiders. Brown posted a photo of a letter issued from Mike Mayock informing the Pro Bowl wide receiver that he was being fined for missing a meeting. This led to an altercation between Mayock and Brown during practice.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Brown called the Raiders GM a “cracker” during the heated discussion. Brown later denied using this term but did confirm the two talked after the Instagram post.
“Antonio Brown told me there was never a scuffle at practice. He said he did not use the word ‘cracker’ and would never use that word…Everything has been blown out of proportion. ‘I spoke with Mike Mayock 1-on-1, man-to-man.’ #Raiders,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini tweeted.
Days later Brown reportedly issued an emotional apology to the Raiders then posted an odd video which appeared to feature a recorded phone call with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. All this came to a head when the Raiders informed Brown they were planning to void his guaranteed money at which point Brown asked for his release on Instagram.
“And that’s fine ! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines.Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years. “I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong.” Release me @raiders #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake,” Brown posted on Instagram before his release hours later.
Raiders Coach Jon Gruden Noted the Team “Exhausted Everything” Before Releasing AB
The timeline above all happened within the last week and does not include Brown’s campaign against the NFL’s new helmet rule. It also does not factor in Brown entering training camp with badly blistered feet.
From the saga involving his helmet to Brown’s foot issues, Gruden had been vocal about his support for his new receiver. After releasing Brown, Gruden admitted they had “exhausted everything” in trying to get Brown to contribute to the team concept. The Raiders traded 2019 third and fifth-round picks to the Steelers for Brown this offseason.
“We just have exhausted everything,” Gruden said, per CBS Sports. “We tried every way possible to make it work. And all I’m gonna say is it’s disappointing. I’m really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work and I’m sorry it didn’t. I apologize, but I’ll tell you, I’m very proud of what we did as an organization to try.
Some Believe Brown Was Attempting to Get Released So He Could Sign With the Patriots
There is some thought that Brown amplified his actions as an attempt to get the Raiders to release him. The Steelers likely did not want to trade the receiver inside the AFC which partly led to Brown landing with the Raiders. While Brown lost money with the release, it also gave him the freedom to sign where he wanted. ESPN’s Chris Mortenson reported that Brown was looking to “accelerate” the process of being cut.
“Antonio Brown sought advice from social media consultants on how he could accelerate his release from the Raiders, [according] to @mortreport,” ESPN tweeted.