The beginning of the 2019 NFL season could not have been more dramatic and chaotic for the Oakland Raiders as star wide receiver Antonio Brown clashed several times with the front office, leading to fines and his eventual request to be released.
Head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock had originally traded for Brown to make him the centerpiece of his revamped offense, but the All-Pro never set foot on the field for the Raiders as his behavior and antics finally forced them to get rid of him. Brown wasted no time in celebrating his release as a video on YouTube documenting his reaction to the news dropped and took to Twitter to express his excitement.
Shortly after, Brown signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots, but would only play one game for them as multiple sexual assault allegations surfaced. The defending Super Bowl champions were ultimately left with no choice and released Brown.
Following his release, Brown filed multiple grievances against the Raiders and Patriots to recoup some of the guaranteed money he had agreed to. It appears that his case with Oakland may have taken a hit though as text messages he sent to owner Mark Davis were submitted for review, per Chris Mortensen of ESPN:
Antonio Brown’s grievance to recoup some his $30 million in guaranteed money took a hit in discovery when the @Raiders submitted multiple text messages from Brown to owner Mark Davis, asking for his release, per sources. The Raiders obliged Sept. 7.
— Chris Mortensen (@mortreport) October 20, 2019
Brown did not make it a secret in his final days as a Raider that he wanted out of the organization and the reported text messages are nothing but more ammunition for the Raiders in the case.
When the Oakland front office agreed to acquire Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a 2019 third and fifth-round picks, they offered the star pass-catcher a three-year, $50 million extension with roughly $30 million guaranteed. However, due to his release from the team, his contract guarantees were voided, so he has since filed several grievance cases to earn some of that money back.
While it is now looking unlikely that Brown will earn any of his guaranteed money back from the Raiders, he still may get his payday from the Patriots as he was guaranteed $9 million in the one-year, $15 million deal they offered him. Even though he is not on a roster, Brown continues to find his name in the news cycle and there does not seem to be an end in sight. However, given his ability on the field, it would not be surprising to see some teams debating bringing him in as the NFL season wears on.
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