Antonio Brown’s Latest Controversy May Have Stamped His Fate With the Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver Antonio Brown finds himself at the center of another off-the-field controversy. Brown’s decision to obtain a fake COVID-19 vaccination card resulted in the NFL levying down a three-game suspension without pay. His actions may have also sealed his fate in Tampa Bay.

Antonio Brown suspended for three games due to violating the NFL COVID-19 protocols with fake vaccination card

Over the last few years, Brown has been no stranger to off-the-field controversies plaguing his NFL future.

The star wideout and teammate Mike Edwards received a three-game suspension for violating the NFL-NFL Players Association COVID-19 protocols. Brown’s punishment occurred a couple of weeks after a report in the Tampa Bay Times last month featured his former chef, who he refused to pay $10,000, alleging that Super Bowl champion obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccine card.

The NFL conducted a thorough investigation into the matter, finding some discrepancies with the vaccination card that Brown gave to the Buccaneers. His latest mistake will cost him upwards of $330,000 due to the three-game suspension.

Beyond that, it may lead to a much more concerning fate ahead.

Antonio Brown’s latest controversy may have stamped his fate with the Buccaneers

Beyond missing more playing time, Brown’s latest fiasco has generated talk concerning his future in Tampa Bay being in jeopardy.

Head coach Bruce Arians purposely chose not to address the situation this week, leaving even more doubt around Brown’s status. Hours before Week 13 action, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed the star wide receiver’s uncertain fate ahead in Tampa Bay.

“His future is really up in the air,” Rapoport said. “If you ask me right now, it’s probably more than likely than not that he’s stay but they are not going to make a decision until after the three games are up.”

Brown was already expected to miss the next two weeks due to his ankle injury. However, it’s another discouraging off-the-field decision that could lead him to fall out of favor with another NFL franchise.

The 33-year-old may have helped the situation by accepting his punishment, as the appeal process could have bled further into the rest of the regular season and potentially the playoffs. He will have an opportunity to return once his suspension is served, but the controversy again puts his NFL future on thin ice.

Tom Brady comfortably pushing the Buccaneers forward without the star WR

Brown’s absence leaves the Buccaneers without a key piece to the passing game, but the team continues to chug forward.

Without the star wideout, Brady is excelling at an elite level, leading the league with 30 touchdown passes while ranking second with 3,403 passing yards. In the last five games, he’s thrown 15 touchdown passes while completing north of 65% of his passes in the previous four contests.

Meanwhile, the Buccaneers possess a plethora of passing game weapons with Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Rob Gronkowski. The Pro Bowl tight end has significantly picked up the pace, notching 194 receiving on 13 receptions in the last two games.

Brown’s presence certainly provides another element to the offense, but it’s not a backbreaking loss for Tampa Bay. Brady played a pivotal part in bringing him aboard, but the former Pro Bowler’s questionable actions have again put his NFL future in doubt.

His repeated mistakes have drawn another potential red flag that may make the 2021 campaign his last with the Buccaneers and potentially elsewhere in the league.

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