Antonio Brown blitzes NFL rules


Cameron Bevan-Abel ’22, Sports Editor

Antonio Brown’s 2019 offseason was anything but normal.

Brown did in one offseason what such well-known divas like Terrell Owens and Randy Moss could not even top in a whole career.

Last offseason, Brown was traded by the Steelers to the Raiders, got frostbite on his feet, threatened to retire because of helmet dispute, captioned ‘release me’ on an Instagram post, was released by Raiders, signed by the Patriots, accused of sexual assault by his former trainer, released by the Patriots, retired from the NFL, and finally applied for online classes at his alma mater, the University of Central Michigan.

All of this happened within a span of six months. Antonio Brown’s problems did not start with the Raiders but are definitely spotlighted and it exposed to the media compared to his long tenure with the Steelers.

Brown was traded to the Oakland Raiders on March 9, two days after the Buffalo Bills’ and Pittsburgh Steelers’ plans on a trade including Antonio Brown were canceled because of his refusal to play for Buffalo.

Antonio Brown was quiet for the most part during the summer, but then his problems just kept coming and coming. Brown would not participate in practices and training camp because of frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy machine.

Then, on Aug. 9, he threatened to retire from the NFL if he would not be allowed to wear the helmet model he had worn for his first nine years of his career (Schutt AiR Advantage), which is not allowed for use in the league because it has not been made within the last 10 years.

Riordan Athletic Director Bob Greene thought the two issues were different, saying, “The helmet issue, you are willfully being difficult and trying at every turn to get exactly what you want and it almost seems ridiculous like you’re acting like a child… the foot issue I think could be a general problem if you can’t run, you can’t play football… if you can’t be available, then you can’t play, and that’s true whether you are hurt, whether you are dipping out, whether you are whatever you are. If you can’t be available, then you can’t play, and if he’s not making himself available, he can’t participate much on the team.”

Brown eventually found a legal helmet he was comfortable with (the Xenith Shadow) and many assumed his problems were all in the past, and that he had a bright future with the Raiders. But that was not the case. The Raiders had sent a letter to AB with almost $54,000 worth in fines for missing practices during training camp.

“If I didn’t show up to work every day, my money would be taken away from me. You have to show up to school every day, and if you don’t, there are consequences, so I think it goes the same way…nobody is bigger than the organization or the team. At the end of the day, he is making so much money, is that really going to hurt him?” Morris said.

The NFL is a copycat league and great coaches and franchises emulate the legends from before. That is the case with the Bill Belichick-Era Patriots as they have had formed their teams in a similar fashion as the Al Davis Raiders.

Davis, the former owner of the Oakland Raiders and father of current owner, Mark Davis, died on Oct. 8, 2011. Al had many favorite mottos, his most famous being, “Just Win Baby!” Al Davis did not care who his players were, or what they did outside of football, as long as they performed and won games.

Many of Al Davis’s teams had players with questionable character, from the allegations against Ken Stabler being a womanizer and alcoholic, to the dirty and cheap in-game hitters Jack Tatum and George Atkinson.

Most opposing fans, players, and executives greatly disliked the Raiders with Al Davis, but they were still winners. Bay Area native John Madden, the Raiders head coach from 1968-1979 under Al Davis had the highest winning percentage for a coach with at sent a letter to AB with almost $54,000 worth in fines for missing practices during training camp.

Antonio Brown then decided to post a photo of the letters of the fines. After public altercations with Mike Mayock, the Raiders General Manager, Antonio Brown made a seemingly sincere apology. Mayock was still uncertain of Brown’s future with the Raiders and whether he would play for them as long as he is still under contract.

Mayock decided to go after Brown’s guaranteed money and it was shortly after that when Antonio Brown asked to be released via social media.

“It’s a business and a job to get paid to do something…when you are not doing your job or you don’t It seemed things would finally work out for Antonio Brown and he had finally found his home, among other outcasts, and would try to help the Pats on their potential Super Bowl run.

Again, players rarely have storybook endings, as Brown was released by New England, just 11 days after being signed. Nike and Xenith also ended their contracts with AB. This caused analysts to believe no team would sign him.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, who actively reported Brown’s situations throughout the offseason had reported that other teams were still interested in Antonio Brown.

Despite this, Brown decided to retire from the league and announced he was returning to school at Central Michigan by posting his online classes on social media. Analysts are unsure if he will ever come back into the league because no other player so dominant has ever left this game so early and for unusual reasons, yet most are sure he will eventually come back.

If he does come back into the league, he will have to focus all of his energy on the field and off of it without any drama.

For what team? We do not know because he has damaged three relationships with organizations. The Steelers throughout a decade, Raiders in one offseason, and the Patriots with just one tweet.

Brown was released by the Pats mainly due to the allegations of sexual assault, but Antonio Brown decided to take a shot at Robert Kraft right after being released by tweeting, “these owners can cancel deals do whatever they want at anytime…sad they can just void guarantees anytime.”

“If they are a distraction to the team, then they gotta find something else to do,” Head Varsity Coach Mark Modeste explained. “Each individual is as important as the whole and the whole is as important as each individual.”