Saturday morning began in a whirlwind due to the Brown saga — but it has finally come to an end. After Brown demanded his release through an Instagram post on Saturday morning, the Raiders opted to agree and release the seven-time Pro Bowler.
Despite never playing an official game with the Raiders, Brown’s tenure with Oakland was a memorable one — probably the most notable for a player who never even appeared in a single game with a franchise.
From the frostbite situation to the unexcused absences from practice, to the thrashing of his former Pittsburgh Steelers teammates, all the way to his exchange with general manager Mike Mayock, Brown certainly didn’t lack in drama or intrigue.
While the situation was obviously entertaining for all of us to observe from the outside, it surely wasn’t so entertaining for those that actually had to deal with it within the organization.
According to one Raiders player, everyone is happy that Brown has been let go by the franchise, as NFL analyst Mike Freeman revealed.
Now that the circus is over, the Raiders can finally focus on business — their Week 1 matchup against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.
With Brown out of the picture, let’s take a look at a sequence of events that led to the All-Pro receiver alienating teammates, executives and coaches within the organization.
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Antonio Brown Gets Heated with Raiders GM
The most famous of all of Brown’s spats with his Raiders colleagues was the most recent one with team general manager Mike Mayock.
Brown took issue with Mayock fining the veteran wide receiver for a couple of unexcused absences and he didn’t hide his displeasure with his Instagram post that had the following caption.
“WHEN YOUR OWN TEAM WANT TO HATE BUT THERE’S NO STOPPING ME NOW DEVIL IS A LIE. EVERYONE GOT TO PAY THIS YEAR SO WE CLEAR.”
The fines — which were a little over $50,000 — paled in comparison to the receiver’s $50 million contract and $30 million in guaranteed money. However, Brown simply couldn’t let it go and proceeded to get into a shouting match with Mayock, which reportedly included the former shouting expletives and racial slurs at the general manager.
Antonio Brown’s Beef with Derek Carr
Somewhere along the line, Brown had a falling out with franchise quarterback Derek Carr. He had unfollowed Carr on Instagram over recent days — and had not followed him back, as he did with the Oakland Raiders page.
My colleague Austin Boyd explained what may have led to Brown’s falling out with Carr.
“It’s important to note that Brown could follow Carr at any point during the publication of this article and everything will be back to normal. However, while Carr remains unfollowed, it’s cause for concern. The wide receiver’s frustration could come from the fact that there was a reported meeting where the team captains gave the coaches the go-ahead to let go of Brown if that was their call.”
Derek’s brother, David Carr, had a telling response to the Raiders’ release of Brown.
Antonio Brown Stupidly Posts Recorded Audio of Jon Gruden
And in what was Brown’s second-to-last act with the Raiders, he posted a weird video on Instagram late Friday night taking issue with people that were painting him to be the bad guy in this entire situation.
While that was weird enough in itself — especially after the Raiders had made amends with Brown and said that he would play in Week 1 — he felt the need to include audio of Gruden’s conversation with Brown — without his permission.
Luckily for Brown, Gruden took the high road — probably trying to avoid making the situation even bigger than it already was.
All in all, Brown made a memorable impact on his Raiders cohorts — without ever playing in a single game for the franchise.
Truly a lasting legacy in the Silver and Black, indeed.