Antonio Brown a seven-time Pro Bowler, four-time All-Pro player and a ten-year NFL wide receiver, has been through quite an eventful offseason, to say the least. First, after the NFL changed helmet regulations, he stated that he would refuse to play if he did not get the helmet he wanted. It turns out that was the least of his controversies. He has since been through three teams, and remains the subject of two civil lawsuits for attempted rape. He is no longer playing in the NFL.
In March of 2019 Antonio Brown was traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Oakland Raiders with small pieces heading back the other way. During that process, he restructured a new deal with the Raiders taking his salary from 38.9 million to 50.1 million.
Then, Brown, a receiver with blazing speed and magic hands got into a fight with his star quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and decided to skip the final game of the season, which was an integral part in helping them secure a good position heading into the playoffs. Once the season had concluded, Brown asked to be traded, and became an Oakland Raider.
Happy days with the Raiders were short-lived, however. Brown arrived to the Raiders training camp seemingly ecstatic to get the season underway, posting clips of himself and his teammates practicing almost every day. But as players were slowly easing into new helmets that the NFL had instructed all the players to wear, Brown had other ideas. He did not like the new helmet, complaining about its sightlines and general fit. He then stated that if he was not able to wear last year’s helmet, he would refuse to play at all.
Brown started to miss practice while the issue went unresolved, and GM Mike Mayock was not happy. Mayock fined Brown, and a big confrontation between the two ensued. Tensions were running high, and with no end in near sight, Brown publicly posted a video on Instagram asking the Raiders to release him. Brown was released a few hours later.
With free agency now in front of Antonio Brown, he was prepared to have another new beginning in just a few months but was still embracing the entire process. Many teams contacted him, but it only came down to two: the Seahawks and the Patriots. Fans around the league were watching anxiously to see where Brown’s new home would be, but in the end Brown would end up choosing New England. Brown signed a one-year 15-million-dollar deal, plus bonuses with the Patriots.
The very next day, rape allegations were leveled against Brown by his former trainer Britney Taylor. The pair had been training together since 2017 and first met each other back at Central Michigan when they went to school. Brown initially contacted her to become his balance and speed coach, as she was a former gymnast.
Despite the allegations, Brown continued getting settled with his third team this year. He made his debut with the team five days later. During that first game, Brown made four catches for 56 yards and one touchdown for 43-0 win against the Miami Dolphins.
Just a day after Brown’s dazzling debut, yet more allegations came out. Sports Illustrated published an article about a second person who was accusing Brown of sexual misconduct along with other reports of erratic behaviour, domestic incidents and failure to pay people who had done work for him. Shortly after the Sports Illustrated article came out, the accuser says, Brown sent her intimidating text messages. The whole Patriots organization ended up releasing him due to his comments and the allegations against him.
Antonio Brown may still be one of the league’s most talented receivers, but the many controversies and his behaviours this offseason have taken a toll on his reputation and his future playing career. Since Brown has been released from the Patriots, he’s returned to Central Michigan, and re-enrolled into classes. Although Brown has claimed that he is done with the NFL, a few teams reportedly still have interest in him.
While Brown continues to ponder his career, he has moved back to Miami where he is from to continue his vigorous season training and take care of his five young kids, while also trying to stay out of trouble in the process. Browns agent Drew Rosenhaus even stated that ‘’he does expect Brown to play again this season.“ Teams are just waiting for the whole NFL investigation to be completed before any signing involving Brown gets done.