Antonio Brown hasn't taken a snap for the Raiders yet — and now it looks like he won't in Week 1, either.
Per Adam Schefter, Brown and Raiders GM Mike Mayock "got into it" Wednesday, and the Raiders are planning to suspend their three-year, $50.1 million investment.
It was Brown posting a picture of a recent fine — complete with commentary — to Instagram, Schefter reported, adding that "This is not going away anytime soon."
Ian Rapoport had a little more:
More on #Raiders WR Antonio Brown and Mike Mayock yesterday: It did not get physical, sources say. But after a screaming match, Brown told Mayock that he would hit him in the face and then punted the ball… and said, Fine me for that. 💸💸💸
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 5, 2019
Annnnnnd you're going to love this little nugget too:
One of the players holding Antonio Brown back from the near-altercation with GM Mike Mayock was ... Vontaze Burfict.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 5, 2019
Speaking with the press Thursday, Mayock briefly addressed the situation, saying Brown was not at practice and essentially shutting down the matter from further speculation:
— Oakland Raiders (@Raiders) September 5, 2019
Mayock and the Raiders specifically warned Brown, too, with Mayock saying back on Aug. 18 that the organization needed Brown to be "all in or all out." That day turned out to be more prophetic than initially planned.
Let's run back Mayock's full quote:
“Here’s the bottom line,” Mayock began. “He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that. We appreciate that … At this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in or all out. OK? So we’re hoping he’s back soon."
Brown recently got a new helmet that suits him – a Xenith Shadow – and he even swung an endorsement deal out of it. But here's what Mayock followed with to make things extra juicy:
“We got 89 guys busting their tails," he said. "We are really excited about where this franchise is going, and we hope AB is going to be a big part of it, starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story. No questions. OK?”
Whoops. Sounds like that whole "starting Week 1 against Denver" thing isn't happening now.
The bigger question now becomes: Will Brown ever play a snap for a Raiders? Or again in his NFL career? Will he just pack it up and leave?
I mean, there's also this:
If the Steelers suspend Antonio Brown for conduct detrimental (they'd need to prove a track record of misconduct, which would probably be pretty easy now), then the star receiver would default on his guarantees.
The full guarantee in his Raiders contract exceeds $30 million.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) September 5, 2019
Albert Breer undoubtedly meant the Raiders, not the Steelers there, but the point stands. If that guaranteed money goes away, then what?
Forced to bet on the situation, I'd wager this pending suspension is just the beginning of something much, much bigger.
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