From afar, following Antonio Brown has been a rollercoaster.
After a falling out with the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of 2018, the team attempted to trade the disgruntled WR.
At first he was traded to Buffalo… only to come out and call it fake news, threatening to retire if the deal went through. He was eventually traded to the Oakland Raiders, and also agreed to a new deal which would pay him $50 million over the next 3 seasons, with roughly $30 million guaranteed.
But will Brown ever play for the Raiders?
If this offseason wasn’t enough, there has been more and more drama surrounding Brown since training camp began.
Brown reportedly has a case of frostbite on his feet due to not wearing proper footwear in a cyrotherapy machine.
For those that don’t know, cyrotheraphy involves going into a cylindrical, metal tub where there is nitrogen vapor at a temperature of minus 270 degrees. It’s meant to be a form of recovery that helps with the inflammation. However, proper precautions need to be taken, such as proper footwear.
Now this isn’t the end of the world. A step back that could have been avoided, yes, but not the end of Brown’s career.
No… Brown is instead considering retirement over his helmet.
You read that right.
Michael Silver of Sports Illustrated tweeted out a very detailed thread (the first tweet is above) about Brown’s apparent dissatisfaction about having to wear a new helmet.
The NFL made new helmet regulations for last season in order to increase player safety. The league banned 6 models, while allowing players who had worn one of the other 4 models in 2017 to do so for one more season under a grace period.
One of the players affected was Tom Brady, who tried a newer model at times, but ultimately reverted to the model he had worn most of his career.
For 2019, the grace period was over, and the other 4 models were permanently banned by the league.
This directly affected Antonio Brown.
As Silver notes, Brown seems to want to wear the older model, and has gone to efforts to do so, even though it is against league policy. He has had outbursts at times, and after repeatedly being told he cannot wear an older model, he’s drawing a line.
According to Adam Schefter, he is considering not playing if not allowed to wear the old model.
This is one of the craziest things I have ever heard of in sports, another example of Brown’s questionable behavior over the past calendar year.
I understand if he has genuine safety concerns, and fears about a newer model effecting his ability to play. However, it seems like the Raiders are trying to work with Brown on a resolution, and he is refusing to find any middle ground.
In addition to this, Silver’s thread reports that Brown has been distracted in team meetings, looking on social media and his bank account when he should be focusing on studying football.
We haven’t heard Brown’s full side of the story, but based on how his tenure ended with the Steelers, and these reports – which include him allegedly being unreachable, and his whereabouts being mostly unknown – coming out the past week, it’s painting him in a really bad light.
AB has been one of the best receivers in the NFL for years now, and has showed no signs of slipping. However, if this issue does not get resolved, we may have seen the end of his career.
Hopefully a compromise can be reached and we get to see Brown this season, otherwise this could be a bizarre (and sad) ending to a Hall of Fame career.
Follow Nick on Twitter (@Nick_Collins14)