Antonio Brown has released a statement in an attempt to explain his recent abrupt departure from the football field. Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has also spoken on the incident. Sports commentators on mainstream media networks instantly gave their opinion as soon as the incident took place. Some immediately attacked Brown, others attacked the coaching staff, some didn’t know what to make of it. Hall of Fame Quarterback and AB’s teammate Tom Brady took the neutral route by not giving much of a comment. Taking a listen to the accounts of Brown and Arians paints a picture that makes more sense than the initial incident did to the average person on the outside looking in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Head Coach Bruce Arians gave a brief interview on the whole situation. He stated that Antonio Brown was complaining about not getting any touches that he wanted the ball. Arians then said Brown refused to enter the game when the coaching staff told him to. Bruce Arians did a “throat-slash” motion (allegedly) and told Brown that he was “done”. This caused AB to remove his jersey, shirt, gloves, and leave the field in a dramatic fashion during the third quarter of the ongoing game between the Buccaneers and Jets.
Antonio Brown has a slightly different, yet similar, version of Bruce Arians’s story. AB was actually questionable to play before the game due to an ongoing ankle injury. However, he was declared healthy and ready to go before the game. AB says his ankle injury began to flare up during the game and he refused to enter the field of play when he was asked. That’s when the “throat-slash” motion alleged incident took place and he was told to leave.
One key piece of information that Antonio Brown did not mention is the details of his contract. NFL players generally do not have much in terms of guaranteed money on their deals. And if they get cut (released from the team), there is usually no “golden parachute” to speak of. Antonio Brown could have received an extra one million dollars in incentive money in increments of $333,333 each as a result of his play that game. He was just one touchdown away from one of the three incentives.
The incentive-laden contract situation makes sense when paired with Bruce Arians’s take on Antonio Brown. The Bucs head coach said AB complained about not getting the ball. And, of course, this is a legitimate complaint since there are one million dollars on the line. The more footballs that are thrown his way, the more he has the chance to get touchdowns, receiving yards, etc. AB probably played through the pain of a severely injured ankle in an attempt to get the incentive money. But once he realized that money probably wasn’t coming, he refused to play.
The final incident is probably not the only reason why Antonio Brown was released from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is a very talented wide receiver but also very troubled. His eleven years in the NFL have been marred by strange and random incidents. Especially in the years since the 2016 blindside hit and concussion that he suffered at the hands of Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Refusing to enter the game on the very last game of the season may have been the final straw… in Tampa.
Update: Antonio Brown Shares Texts with Bucs Head Coach About Injury
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