October 2020, Bucs Head Coach Bruce Arians claimed that if "Ab screws up one time, he's gone". Well, it seems that statement now has validity. In a childish move, AB quit on his team and is no longer a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
By the numbers, Antonio Brown was destined for greatness. In 145 games, AB eclipsed 12,265 yards with 85 touchdowns. That puts him in the top 25 all time for both receptions and touchdowns. He was a 7x Pro Bowler, 4x All-Pro, a member of the HOF All-2010's Team, and a Super Bowl Champion for the Bucs last season.
This has been a long and tumultuous journey for Antonio Brown, and I don't think he will ever step foot on a football field again. His antics have caused headaches, and I don't think anyone will give him a shot ever again. At once a potential hall-of-famer, AB will go down as one of the biggest "what ifs" in the history of football.
A series of unfortunate events - A timeline of AB from over the years
December 30th, 2018: Steelers bench Antonio Brown
After 8 years with the Steelers, his true colors began to emerge. Reports stated that AB was dealing with some knee issues, and was given a rest day. When game time came around, he was found on the bench. It was later found out that Brown refused to practice and skipped practices as well. He had a mini tantrum, throwing a football at Ben Roethlisberger and complained how teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster was named team MVP.
Photo: Matt Freed/Post-Gazette
February 12th, 2019: Antonio Brown found guilty of reckless driving
Police cited Brown on Nov. 8 for allegedly driving a black Porsche more than 100 miles per hour through Ross Township, Pennsylvania. This was the straw that broke the camels back for Art Rooney II and the Steelers. Two weeks after this came out, the Steelers and AB agreed to part ways via a trade.
March 8th, 2019: The Steelers have a trade in place to send AB to the Bills
That lasted a whole two hours. The Bills were going to need to work out a new deal for Brown, in which he wanted, but he refused to go there and caused a scene.
March 10th, 2019: The Raiders acquire Antonio Brown for a 3rd and 5th round pick
A low risk, high reward situation, John Gruden and the Oakland Raiders, ready for their Hard Knocks premiere, landed Antonio Brown to help turn the offense around. Once he was traded, the Raiders signed him to a three year, $50M deal, making him one of the NFL's highest-paid receiver
Photo: AP Photo/Ben Margot
August 2019: Foot and Helmet Issues
After joining the team, AB entered a cryotherapy machine without the proper footwear. This resulted in his feet being exposed to extremely cold temperatures and removing layers of skin. He posted a photo on August 3rd and his feet were mangled. Once those issues "healed", Brown was angered by the NFL's updated helmet safety standards. The new rules prevented him for wearing a helmet that he has used for his entire career. For a whole month, AB refused to play. He then tried to spray paint his old helmet, but was later fined and reprimanded. His reasoning was that his helmet made him agile and comfortable
Photo: CBS Sports Sacramento
September 5th, 2019: Issues with fines, skipping workouts, and argument with GM
Brown was fined nearly $54,000 for missing team workouts. He was unhappy with the Raiders and didn't want to practice, and later went after general manager, Mike Mayock. AB called Mayock "a cracker", where the Raiders began figuring out how they can release Brown and void the $30M contract. During this time, AB released a video of a phone call conversation between him and Coach Gruden, claiming he wanted to always be a Raider.
September 7th, 2019: Raiders release Antonio Brown, Patriots sign him shortly after
Gruden said AB would start week 1, but the team had a different plan. AB requested a release on Instagram, and the Raiders did so. They also found a way out of all of his guaranteed money, fining him for conduct detrimental to the team.
Tom Brady always had a infinity for AB, and helped maneuver the deal to bring him to New England. The Patriots signed AB to a one year deal worth $15 million, that included a $9-million signing bonus. Brady also housed AB when he arrived to the Pats.
September 10th-20th, 2019: Patriots debut, sexual assault case, and release
The drama continued for AB. Brown's former trainer, Britney Taylor, accused him of raping her in a lawsuit filed on this date in federal court. The lawsuit alleged that Brown sexually assaulted Taylor on three different occasions in 2017 and 2018.
Brown played one game for the Patriots, where he caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. After his debut, he was accused of sexual misconduct by a second woman, where he reportedly sent threatening text messages. An NFL investigation began based on these allegation, and the Patriots released him on September 20th. He wouldn't play for the remainder of the year.
AB initially posted on Twitter that he was retiring from the NFL on September 22nd, but four days later changed his mind.
July 30th, 2020: Antonio Brown suspended eight games
After not much has been heard regarding the AB situation, the NFL came out and said Brown was in violation of their Personal Conduct Policy. Brown received an eight-game suspension from the NFL, not due to the sexual assault allegations but for a separate incident in January 2020.
Now that there was a timeframe for a potential AB return, the Buccaneers signed Brown for the remainder of the 2020 season on October 23rd. Once a $50M dollar man, he was paid a maximum of $2.5M. His prorated base salary would be about $750K. AB helped win the Super Bowl for the Bucs, and rejoined the team for 2021.
Dec. 2, 2021: Antonio Brown suspended for supplying NFL with fake vaccination card
AB's personal chef accused him of giving the league a fake vax card. The NFL received the tip and began an investigation and found him guilty. He was suspended three games for these actions. Everyone thought that he would be cut, but the Bucs decided to keep him. When he returned from suspension, he got after it with some reporters, claiming that they were creating the drama.
January 2nd 2022: Antonio Brown leaves the field in the middle of the game
That brings us to today. Antonio Brown was mad about something, and his emotions took their course, resulting in him quitting on the Bucs. The team confirmed after the game that AB was no longer part of Tampa Bay.