Star wide receiver Antonio Brown‘s tenure with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quickly came to a close after a strange sideline incident during Sunday’s game against the New York Jets. Brown’s action drew plenty of attention as it likely stamped his last chance at playing in the NFL. However, the situation also completely contradicted the strong stance he voiced last week.
Antonio Brown abruptly leaves the Buccaneers during Week 17 game against the Jets
As the Buccaneers began to play the second half of Sunday’s game against the Jets, Brown became the center of attention as he exited the field due to his refusal to play.
The former All-Pro wideout took off his shoulder pads then threw his undershirt and gloves into the stands. He followed that by running across the endzone shirtless while both teams were on the field. After the game, head coach Bruce Arians clarified that Brown is no longer a member of the team.
“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said via Yahoo Sports. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”
Ian Rapoport of The NFL Network has reported that the conflict arose after Arians asked Brown to go into the game. However, the 33-year-old didn’t want to because he didn’t feel his ankle was healthy enough to play. It led Arians and the Buccaneers’ other offensive coaches to voice that Brown couldn’t be there because he chose not to play.
Beyond the strange situation, the star wideout’s actions have come in direct contrast to his firm words from last week.
Antonio Brown eating his own words after his bizarre Buccaneers exit
The last three years have been filled with numerous off-the-field incidents that have disrupted Brown’s NFL career.
His questionable behavior and decision-making pushed him out of the league before the Buccaneers gave him a chance. He helped the franchise secure a Super Bowl win while reigniting his career. However, the latest matter may have cost him an opportunity to extend his playing days any further.
Several days before Sunday’s incident, Brown chose not to address his fake COVID-19 vaccination card situation with the media while exclaiming they focused only on the drama.
“I don’t want to talk about that. You guys are all about drama. This is about football. We’re going to talk about Carolina or I don’t want to talk to you,” Brown said, via ESPN’s Jenna Laine.
“I’m just here to do my job. I can’t control what people write, how people try to frame me, people try to bring me down. Life is about obstacles and persevering and doing what’s right.”
As much as Brown wants to point the finger at the media, he has a history of creating concerning situations through his actions. Regardless if he believed he wasn’t healthy enough to play, he escalated the matter by leaving the sidelines in the fashion he did.
The drama that follows Brown is of his own doing, and now that could see his NFL career come to an abrupt close.
Has Antonio Brown played his last NFL snap?
The latest incident disappointingly falls in line with Brown’s recent track record.
Tom Brady and the Buccaneers took the chance to bring him aboard, but the situation has quickly fizzled out, putting Brown out of the league. It’s hard to envision any team giving the 33-year-old another opportunity to play in the 2021 campaign, especially this late in the regular season.
Brown is still an extremely talented player, but the lack of control and question decision-making will keep franchises away. He possesses game-changing talent, but the instability in other areas is drawing the most concerns.
Time will tell what unfolds ahead, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he took his final NFL snap.