On Sunday, January 2, wide receiver Antonio Brown yet again made headlines for the wrong reasons.
In the midst of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, Brown was seen taking off his shoulder pads, shirt and gloves, and giving the “peace” sign to the fans as he made his way down towards the tunnel and eventually out of the stadium.
Frustrated over an alleged dispute Brown with the coaching staff regarding his ability health-wise to go back into the game, the four-time All Pro receiver quit on his team mid-game, adding to his already sour resume of on and off-the-field issues.
“What he told the staff, from what I understand, is that he was not going into the game because, in his mind, he did not feel he was healthy,” NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said on NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” on Monday, January 3. “The response then from the offensive coaches and from Bruce Arians was, ‘If you are not gonna go into the game when we tell you to go into the game, then you cannot be here.’ At that point, they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team.”
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Chiefs Players React to AB Incident
Along with many people in the NFL landscape, Chiefs players of the present and past took to Twitter to react to Brown’s stunning move in Week 17.
“To all the people making fun of the AB situation is mad lame,” Chiefs practice squad receiver Daurice Fountain wrote. “Mental illness & CTE is REAL and unfortunately it’s a real reality for a lot of us in this business. Instead of making fun of him and chasing clout, let’s figure out a way to give him the HELP he needs.”
“It’s safe to say we don’t know what really happened except we saw the reaction of something we will never get to understand!!! Antonio Brown is an elite wide receiver and we’ve never seen this kind of behavior before yeah?” wrote former five-time Pro Bowl pass rusher for Kansas City, Tamba Hali.
“People making jokes about AB but I just pray he finds peace f football,” former Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen wrote.
Bucs Exploring Brown Release
Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians said after the game that Brown was no longer a Buccaneer. The team is in discussions with the NFL currently as to how they should go about removing Brown from the team.
“The deliberations between the team and the league were focused on which designation the Buccaneers might place on Brown for player-personnel purposes, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions,” Mark Maske of The Washington Post reported on Monday.
Tampa Bay may be waiting to hear if the league plans on imposing any type of punishment on Brown. However, the NFL doesn’t plan on disciplining him, according to Maske.
Time will tell how the Buccaneers handle this messy situation, as they currently sit as the No. 3 seed in the NFC with a Super Bowl appearance as an expectation this season.