The Tampa Bay Buccaneers released Antonio Brown on Thursday, but new information suggests things were headed in the wrong direction when concerns about the guarantees in his contract apparently came up before his ordeal during the team’s game against the New York Jets.
Brown signed a one-year, $3.1 million contract, which included a more than $916,000 in base salary, a $2 million signing bonus and more than $370,000 in a roster bonus, according to Spotrac. He also had some statistical benchmarks to hit in which he could gain more incentives.
The now-former Buccaneers receiver is said to have requested the remaining $2 million worth of incentives in his contract for 2021 be guaranteed, according to Tampa Bay GM Jason Licht. The team declined Brown and his agent’s ask. Brown was eight catches shy of unlocking one bonus and needed 55 receiving yards to secure another. The 33-year-old receiver was one receiving touchdown short for the third bonus.
On top of that, the team took some time to release him because they were actively trying to get him help for his mental health.
“Let’s talk about Antonio Brown and when this started,” Rapoport said. “It did not start on Sunday. It started in the middle of last week when Brown and his agent went to the Buccaneers and asked them to fully guarantee his $1M in incentives. He was close to getting it, but went to them and said ‘can you guarantee this?’ That’s not really something teams do, but that’s why some of the frustrations started then.”
“So then, why did it take so long for Brown to be released? From what I understand, the Bucs wanted him to get help. They wanted him to seek mental help and therapy to better himself. He didn’t want to do that and thought it was ridiculous. He just wanted to be released and didn’t want to stay caged as he said on social media and was released.”
Days after his outburst, Brown accused Arians and the organization of mishandling an ankle injury.
Arians addressed the issue on Thursday.
“At no point in time during that game did he ever ask a trainer or doctor about his ankle, that’s the normal protocol, ” Arians said. “I was never notified of it so obviously, that was the disturbing thing when we were looking for him to go back into the game. He was very upset at halftime about who was getting targeted, got that calmed down, players took care of that.”
Brown had three catches for 26 yards and was targeted five times. Arians added that Brown refused to go into the game. Arians said he approached Brown about what was going on, in which the receiver allegedly told his coach, “I ain’t playing,” and “I ain’t getting the ball.”
“That’s when I said, ‘You’re done, get the eff out of here.’ That’s the end of it,” Arians said.
In the meantime, Brown has since been exposed by an OnlyFans model for sneaking her into the team hotel one day before his outburst.
Things might get crazy for the Bucs since the young lady also revealed she is COVID positive: