The Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders in a blockbuster deal that took place in March. A few months later he is on his way back to the Steel City as one of their own, but this time as an enemy. The Bucs have not yet seen what they’re up against and could find themselves with egg on their face when it’s all said and done.,
The “antonio brown fantasy” is a tough truth that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers learned the hard way. Antonio Brown had been on fire with Pittsburgh, but he was traded to the Oakland Raiders and then signed by the New England Patriots.
The Buccaneers in Tampa Bay can’t claim they weren’t warned.
On Sunday, the Antonio Brown Era came to an end for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the most Antonio Brown-like fashion conceivable.
The Buccaneers, Jets, and the football-watching world were astonished by Brown’s goodbye from the club – and possibly what was left of his NFL career – in the third quarter of what turned out to be a dramatic Tom Brady-led comeback to win the New York Jets 28-24 on a touchdown with 15 seconds remaining.
Brown stripped down to his uniform pants on the Buccaneers sideline during a timeout in play, threw his jersey and undershirts into the crowd, performed a sort of farewell bow to the crowd as he walked into the far-side endzone, and then vanished into the MetLife Stadium tunnel, never to be seen again.
As head coach Bruce Arians said in a curt post-game statement, he will at the very least never return to the Buccaneers.
“He’s no longer a Buc,” Arians said emphatically. “And with that, the narrative comes to a close.”
Sorry for the inconvenience, coach. That isn’t the end of the narrative, however. It’s simply a predictable conclusion.
Arians’ hypocrisy about Brown eventually bit him and his squad.
Elsa/Getty Images | Antonio Brown
Even though Brown was still serving a league-imposed suspension for his off-the-field actions when the Buccaneers signed him last season, Arians made a strong, categorical statement: Brown would be subject to a zero-tolerance policy with the Buccaneers. If he commits any more infractions, he will be released from an NFL club once again.
When Brown was banned three games by the NFL at the beginning of last month for violating the league’s Covid-19 policy by misrepresenting his immunization status with a false vaccination card, it seemed that he had worn out his welcome.
However, while Brown was suspended, the Buccaneers suffered catastrophic injuries to their primary wide outs. Chris Godwin tore his ACL and was forced to sit out the rest of the season. Mike Evans tore his hamstring in the same game on Dec. 19 and was expected to miss many weeks.
Brown’s suspension expired the following day, which was fortuitous. Arians abruptly chose to put the past behind them, and he was especially churlish when the hypocrisy of his shifting goalposts was pointed out to him.
On Dec. 20, he declared during his weekly Zoom session with the media, “I could give a s*** what [people] think.” “The only thing that matters to me is the success of this football team.”
Clearly, Arians didn’t think things out well enough. He had completely forgotten who he was working with.
Brown was on his way to a large payout when everything went wrong.
Last season, it was no secret that quarterback Tom Brady worked hard to get Brown on the club. When they were briefly teammates with the Patriots in 2019, Brady went so far as to invite Brown into his house to help him adjust to life in New England. Brown, on the other hand, managed to self-destruct his tenure with the Patriots in a matter of weeks, resulting in a league ban when additional charges of off-field behaviour surfaced.
Brown, on the other hand, remained out of trouble with the Buccaneers last season and helped them win the Super Bowl. He has 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games last season. In the playoffs, he recorded two touchdowns. Brown has 29 receptions for 414 yards and four touchdowns in five games before his vaccine-card suspension.
Last week, in his first game back from suspension and without Godwin and Evans, Brown caught 10 of 15 targets for 101 yards in Tampa Bay’s AFC South-clinching victory against the Carolina Panthers.
Brown seemed to be on his way to a hefty payout heading into Sunday’s game against the Jets.
Brown was poised to earn $333,333 in bonuses for three specific milestones: eight more catches, 55 more yards, and one score, according to incentives embedded into his contract.
Brown had three receptions for 26 yards at the conclusion of the first half, which proved to be a much more difficult battle against the 4-11 Jets than expected. With a second half and Week 18 remaining, his goals seemed to be his to claim.
Brown then began removing his jersey on the Buccaneers sideline without notice in the third quarter. After the game, Arians told Fox’s Jay Glazer that he tried to persuade Brown to return to the game, but Brown declined. Arians instructed Brown to leave after a second attempt when he refused.
Evans looked to be the only teammate who was aware of what was going on, and he attempted, but failed, to stop Brown from accomplishing whatever it was he was attempting to do. Brown quickly removed his jersey and shoulder pads and proceeded off the field, pausing only to interact with the fans as he moved around the endzone away from the Jets’ possession, before going into the tunnel.
With the playoffs approaching, the Buccaneers must now pick up the pieces.
The Buccaneers were as perplexed as the rest of the football world as they watched this unusual scene occur on their television screens. Despite having clinched their division and remaining in contention for the NFC’s top seed, the Buccaneers are now without two of their top three receivers and must deal with the fallout of being burned by Brown, despite seeing what he had done to the Steelers, Raiders, and Patriots in the previous three years.
After the game, Arians, in his typical excessively belligerent tone, openly said that Brown was no longer on the team, then quickly moved on to discussing the comeback that resulted in the win.
Brady, who acknowledged after the game that he didn’t know what was going on in real time, was at least a bit more forthright about the issue.
“Obviously, that’s a terrible scenario,” Brady said. “We all adore him and are very concerned about his well-being. “I believe that everyone should be empathic and sympathetic toward some really challenging situations.”
Pro Football Reference provided the statistics.
The Buccaneers didn’t cut Antonio Brown, and Bruce Arians doesn’t give a damn what you think.
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The “buccaneer pirate” is a type of ship that was used by pirates in the 17th and 18th centuries. The term is also used to describe someone who is bold, daring, and reckless. Buccaneers were known for their fast-sailing vessels with shallow draft that allowed them to sail into shallow ports and surprise unsuspecting ships.
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