Stardom fades fast. That’s the lesson Antonio Brown taught everyone in the last year. Once considered the NFL’s best receiver, the former Steelers standout has caught more attention than footballs since forcing his way out of Pittsburgh. After a bizarre stint with Jon Gruden’s Oakland Raiders, Brown appeared to have landed in the perfect spot with the New England Patriots. But thanks to more legal troubles, the All-Pro wideout once again found himself without an NFL home.
Watching Antonio Brown’s downfall has been a sad affair, especially considering how much money he’s thrown away from fines. But don’t shed too many tears for the multi-millionaire wideout who’s amassed a net worth that can withstand his costly ways.
Antonio Brown turned Steelers superstardom into lucrative contracts
Unlike Randy Moss or Larry Fitzgerald, Antonio Brown didn’t enter the NFL as a first-round pick. Instead, the Central Michigan product outplayed his draft status and developed into one of the best sixth-round picks in NFL history not named Tom Brady. From 2013-2018, Brown averaged 114 catches for 1,524 yards and 11 touchdowns. He led the NFL in catches and receiving yards twice, and his 15 touchdowns in 2018 represented a career-high for the four-time All-Pro.
Though Brown’s rookie deal totaled just $1.29 million, he got a massive raise from the Steelers in 2012. Pittsburgh signed its breakout star to a five-year, $41.96 million extension, though it contained just $8.5 million guaranteed. That actually turned out to be quite a bargain for the Steelers. In February 2017, Brown landed another mega extension by inking a four-year, $68 million pact that included a substantial $19 million guaranteed.
Of course, those deals also included plenty of drama from the diva wide receiver. Brown became such a headache that the Steelers shipped him to the Raiders for third- and fifth-round picks in March 2019. Despite his well-publicized antics, Brown somehow managed to convince the Raiders to give him a new deal that included $30.125 million guaranteed. He didn’t even suit up for Gruden’s team, and after getting cut, he signed a two-year deal with the Patriots that included $10 million guaranteed. However, he lasted just one game in New England before getting released. In total, Antonio Brown has earned north of $83 million during his NFL career.
All-Pro receiver has eaten into his net worth with more than $338,000 in fines
Despite his impressive NFL earnings, Antonio Brown’s net worth currently stands at just $20 million. While that’s certainly no figure to scoff at, he could easily have more if not for his own antics. Even in a league with diva receivers, Brown is in his own class of crazy. Taking a look at Pro Football Reference, it’s baffling to see how much money he lost due to fines. He faced his first financial hit in 2012 when the NFL fined him $10,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct when he backpedaled into the end zone. Two years later, he got docked $8,200 for cleating Browns punter Spencer Lanning in the facemask. The next season, the NFL fined the Steelers star $11,576 for straddling the goalpost while celebrating a score.
Apparently Brown didn’t learn his lesson. On September 15, 2016, he got fined again for unsportsmanlike conduct and for an equipment violation. That fiasco cost him $15,191. Just a few weeks later, he lost another $24,309 for a touchdown celebration dance. Though he stayed quiet (from a fine standpoint) for a few years, Brown’s demise with the Raiders resulted in his most substantial financial loss.
General manager Mike Mayock fined his new wideout $54,000 for unexcused absences and missing practices. Brown famously took to Instagram to air his grievances. And best of all, a heated exchange between the controversial wideout and his GM resulted in a stunning $215,000 fine. In total, Antonio Brown has lost more than $338,000 from fines in his decade-long NFL career.
Will Antonio Brown play in the NFL in 2020?
Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe Antonio Brown’s collapse. From issues with management to serious legal troubles off the field, he’s gone from one of the NFL’s most impactful players to one of its most embarrassing. Still, that doesn’t mean his NFL career is necessarily over. Brown turns 32 in July. Before he self-sabotaged his 2019 season, the route-running savant posted a 104/1,297/15 line with the Steelers. His talent or work ethic has never been the question.
However, considering Bill Belichick got rid of him, that doesn’t bode well for Antonio Brown’s future. Then again, teams have taken chances on high-risk players before, so it can’t be ruled out. Ultimately, a playoff-caliber team with a strong infrastructure such as the Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks could take a flyer on the former star. If he never plays another NFL down, Antonio Brown will have no one to blame but himself.