Even though the NFL season is starting tonight, there is a bigger story that has overshadowed that fact. Oakland Raiders‘ star wide receiver, Antonio Brown, is facing suspension because of an altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. According to Ian Rapoport, the seen got pretty ugly. This flare-up may lead to Brown not just getting suspended, it may lead to him getting let go altogether, per Adam Schefter.
“Antonio Brown is not in the building today,” said Mayock in a brief appearance to the media. “Won’t be practicing. I don’t have any more information for you right now and when I have some and it becomes appropriate, you guys will all get it, I promise you.”
Mayock was quick to get away from the media and didn’t really give us much detail. Though, the fact that Brown is not at practice definitely means that there is likely merit to Schefter’s and Rapoport’s reports. Mayock is probably going to let things to settle down before he makes a quick decision. However, if the reports turn out to be true, things are going to get worse before they get better for Brown.
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What Should the Raiders Do With Antonio Brown?
The Antonio Brown experiment has turned into a disaster for the Raiders and Mike Mayock. It would’ve been shortsighted to think that there wouldn’t be drama at some point, but even the biggest pessimist couldn’t have foreseen this. It’s one thing to get upset with former teammates or getting mad because you can’t wear your preferred helmet, but it’s a completely different thing to physically threaten your general manager in front of other teammates.
The Raiders are a young team. This kind of behavior should be completely unacceptable. This is Mayock’s first year as a general manager and Brown has put him in an incredibly difficult position. If Brown plans on remaining with the Raiders, he needs to issues an apology immediately. Whether or not Brown decides to do that, he should still face suspension.
Oakland could also cut him and not have to pay him his guaranteed money, per Adam Schefter. If Brown doesn’t show remorse in the next 48 hours and vow to change his behavior, Mayock needs to let him go. The Raiders would lose out on the third and fifth-round picks they sent to Pittsburgh, but that’s how things go sometimes. Brown is a legendary talent, but his behavior could drastically affect the locker room. No single player is more important than the team and it’s becoming apparent that Brown doesn’t think that way.
This whole flare-up seems to have come from the fact that Mayock fined Brown for missing practice. The fact that Brown thinks that the team is “hating” on him because he broke the rules is a huge red flag for what his mindset is. It would be an extremely disappointing end, but the Raiders need to nip this in the bud if they want to have any kind of long term success.