Why did Antonio Brown leave Buccaneers-Jets game? Explaining WR’s beef with Bruce Arians, follow-up comments

Vontae Davis secured the fictitious award for “Oddest Outing in an NFL Game” when he dropped out in the middle of a 2018 contest between the Bills and Chargers. He simply withdrew from the game, saying in a statement that he realized he “shouldn’t be out there anymore.”

Well, Antonio Brown somehow managed to top it this season. In the third quarter of the Buccaneers’ Week 17 game against the Jets, the seven-time Pro Bowler stripped off his jersey and pads, ran to the locker room and never returned to the field. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians told reporters after the January 2 game that Brown would no longer be a member of the team, and the Bucs made Brown’s release official a few days after the game.

Needless to say, there was a lot to digest with the incident, and follow-up comments from Brown and the Buccaneers organization only complicated the situation. SN recalls Brown’s outburst and the aftermath.

Antonio Brown leaves Buccaneers-Jets game

Brown’s collapse came late in the third quarter with the Bucs facing a 24-10 deficit. The 33-year-old was visibly frustrated and got into a heated argument with Mike Evans. Despite his best efforts, Evans couldn’t cool down the bench.

In a shocking move, Brown removed his jersey and pads and then removed his jersey and gloves. He tossed his jersey and gloves into the crowd before running across the field toward the Tampa Bay locker room. He threw a peace sign at fans at MetLife Stadium and disappeared into the tunnel.

At the time of Brown’s exit, the Buccaneers’ offensive unit was moving down the field. He scored a touchdown on that possession and Tampa Bay ultimately won 28-24. Brown finished with three catches on five targets for 26 yards.

Why did Antonio Brown leave the game?

This is where things get a bit murky.

Brown claims the Buccaneers “cut” him because he refused to play with an ankle injury. In a statement released through his lawyerBrown said Arians ordered him out on the field, and when he told Arians he couldn’t play with the injury, Arians replied, “You’re done!”

“I know we were losing to the Jets and that was frustrating for all of us. But I couldn’t make football plays with that ankle,” Brown said. “Yeah, I walked off the field. But there’s a big difference between shooting off the line and taking hits versus running off the field with a surge of emotions in your mind. I’m pondering my reaction, but there was a trigger.

“The trigger was someone telling me I’m not allowed to feel pain. I acknowledge my past. But my past doesn’t make me a second-class citizen. My past doesn’t take away my right to be heard when I’m in pain.” .”

The Bucs acknowledged that Brown received ankle treatment and was listed on the injury report during the week, but said he was cleared to play. They also said Brown never told medical staff that he couldn’t play.

“At no time during that game [Brown] never ask the coach or doctor about your ankle. It never happened, that’s normal protocol,” Arians said. “You go through protocols during games. They never warned me.”

However, there is another element at play here. Brown reportedly came close to earning three bonuses (for receiving, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns) that would have paid $333,333 each. During an appearance on the Podcast “I am an athlete”Former Tampa Bay running back LeSean McCoy said Brown was “mad” about his lack of goals. McCoy explained that Arians and Bucs offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich openly discussed player incentives in 2020, leading Brown to believe they would help him reach his 2021 season goals.

McCoy’s full breakdown of the “I Am Athlete Podcast” podcast:

“[We’re in] like, Week 13 or 14, [Leftwich is] like, ‘Hey, does anyone have any incentives in your contract? If you do, please let me know. I’ll get you your job because I really like that. … One of the games, Mike Evans was playing. We play in Detroit. The year is really over. We’re good, qualified for the playoffs and all that. Mike is there trying to get 1,000 yards. I say, ‘Yo, I love this kind of coach. I respect it.’ [Arians is] cool with that

“So, let’s fast forward. That’s last year. So, this year, [Brown] it’s like, ‘Oh, I see that. Oh, is that what we’re doing? So now I’m awake. You know what I mean? Can’t get my eight catches? Oh, are you throwing the ball to these other people? You know what I’m talking?’ I won’t go into all the details because those are my guys. I’m not going to expose all your businesses. But he’s like, ‘Hey, are you throwing the ball to these other guys? It’s okay, I’m hot. Man, I’m hurt. I’m not going to enter'”.

Arians noted that Brown was “very upset” at halftime about receivers being targeted, but said the players “dealt with it.” Arians also admitted that he told Brown to “get out of here” after Brown refused to re-enter the game.

How did the Buccaneers react?

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians.

“[Brown] he’s not a Buc anymore,” Arians told reporters after the game. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys that came out and won the game.”

Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady

“I think everyone should do what they can to help in any way that they really need to,” Brady said. “We all love him. We care deeply about him. We want to see him at his best, and unfortunately, it won’t be with our team.”

Buccaneers official statement

“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have terminated Antonio Brown’s contract, effective immediately,” the Bucs said in a statement issued Jan. 6. Sunday’s game, our medical team cleared him to play before the start of the game and at no time during the game did he indicate to our medical staff that he was unable to play.

“We have tried, several times this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, but Antonio has not complied. Maintaining the health and well-being of our players is of the utmost importance to our organization.”

How did Antonio Brown react?

Social Media Posts

On January 6, Brown tweeted what appeared to be a conversation between himself and Arians showing that they had discussed Brown’s ankle injury before the game.

“I’m the all-in coach,” Brown said in the alleged text conversation. “Actually [can’t] come at full speed. I want to win, I want to be there. [If] i wake up tomorrow [and] Feel better, I’ll be ready.”

“Meet me [in] in the morning,” Arians replied, according to the screenshot. “We will talk. I definitely want you with us in case you’re ready.”

Brown then took aim at Brady and his trainer Alex Guerrero, sharing an alleged conversation he had with Guerrero about a financial problem. Brown asked Guerrero for half of the $100,000 he paid for the services, according to the screenshot, and Guerrero asked where he should send the money.

“[Brady’s] guy [Guerrero] charging me [$100,000 and] never do work with me!” Brown said in the Instagram caption. “[How do you] even work [with] people like this!”

In another post, Brown explained that he was ultimately more upset with the way the team handled his injury than the actions of his teammates.

“Don’t get me wrong. My brothers have been good to me.” brown tweeted. “From Tom to the practice squad, we were a top notch unit. They’ve been good to me and didn’t know about my conversations with the coach last week. The team mishandled this situation. They let me down and more importantly , to my friends”. “

‘Complete Shipping’ Podcast

During an interview on January 7 at the “Complete Shipping” PodcastBrown reiterated that he was dealing with an ankle injury and said a player has a right to tell his coach when he can’t play. He also questioned the nature of his friendship with Brady and wondered why he wasn’t being targeted as a true No. 1 receiver.

You can check out the full breakdown of Brown’s comments here.

Podcast ‘I am an athlete’

Brown made his own appearance in the Podcast “I am an athlete”, telling former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall that “there’s nothing wrong” with his mental health. Brown had previously dismissed concerns about chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease found in those who have experienced repetitive brain trauma.

“Somebody told me to get out of here. I’m not passive-aggressive… He’s bigger than me because a lot of guys [are] going through this,” Brown said. “How do you protect your sanity as a football player in terms of getting what you want? How do you do that?”

What will Antonio Brown do now?

Brown said he plans to have ankle surgery and return to play next season, though it’s unclear if any team has expressed interest in signing him.

“Once my surgery is complete, I will be back 100 percent and looking forward to next season,” Brown said in the statement issued through his attorney. “Business is going to be booming!”

In 15 games with the Buccaneers, Brown totaled 87 receptions for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns. He is No. 21 on the all-time receiving list (928) and No. 24 on the all-time receiving yards list (12,291) and all-time receiving touchdowns list (83).