Fallen NFL star Antonio Brown took to social media in the aftermath of an epic meltdown that appears to have ended his career with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and likely with the league itself as the mercurial wide receiver may have finally run out of chances.
During the third quarter of Sunday’s road game against the New York Jets, Brown completely lost it, stripping off his pads and upper uniform, throwing his shirt and gloves into the stands and then bolted topless for the locker room, waving a peace-out sign at the MetLife Stadium crowd in one of the most bizarre episodes in NFL history.
Brown’s latest antics were a bridge too far for Bucs head coach Bruce Arians who after the game told reporters that his time in red and pewter was over, “He is no longer a Buc, alright, that’s the end of the story, let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”
There has been no explanation for why exactly Brown acted out, at that time he had three catches for a meager 26 yards and reportedly refused to go back into the game when asked by Arians, saying that his ankle was sore according to a report by the Tampa Bay Times, “I was shocked and had enough,” said the coach in a text message to the paper.
Brown later surfaced on social media, posting out a picture of himself in the outfit that he wore to the stadium and the words “Super Gremlin,” which some believe to be a reference to a song by rapper Kodak Black.
Super Gremlin 🤙🏽 pic.twitter.com/kiATncHHbl
— AB (@AB84) January 2, 2022
Brown also posted a picture of himself on Instagram with his apparent farewell to the team, “Big MAD (Making A Difference,” he wrote, “Thanks for the opportunity.”
Superstar Bucs quarterback Tom Brady who led yet another fourth quarter comeback to beat the pesky Jets weighed in on his now-former teammate, “I think everybody should find, you know hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that you know, he really needs it,” Brady said to reporters, “we all love him, we care about him deeply, you know we want to see him be at his best and unfortunately it won’t be with our team.”
Tom Brady on Antonio Brown:
"I think everybody should do what they can to help in ways that he really needs it. We all love him, we care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best, and unfortunately, it won't be with our team." pic.twitter.com/JssvEJCheE
— SNY (@SNYtv) January 2, 2022
Brown has been dogged by both off-field incidents and clashes with teammates and front office figures and was only given another chance in Tampa Bay as a result of Brady’s backing but even his patience has a limit.
He had just returned from an ankle injury and a three game suspension over allegedly obtaining a fake COVID vaccination card, another distraction that led to many demanding his ouster from the team but Arians was forced to suit Brown up due to a rash of injuries at the position despite having previously indicated that the player was on a very short leash.
I asked Bruce Arians about his comments last year, where he said upon signing Antonio Brown: “He screws up one time and he’s gone,” and what made him decide to give Brown yet another a chance. He said, “History has changed since that statement.” Have a listen: pic.twitter.com/JajkBJXabH
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) December 20, 2021
Brown caught 10 passes for 101 yards in last week’s 32-6 bludgeoning of the hapless Carolina Panthers that clinched the division title for the Bucs in a performance that conjured memories of his days with the Pittsburgh Steelers when he was one of the NFL’s top receivers.
His temper not only cost him his job but Brown also shot himself in the foot financially, missing out on attainable bonuses that could have brought him a million dollars.
Antonio Brown needed:
8 more catches to unlock a $333,333 bonus.
He also needed 55 receiving yards to unlock another $333,333 bonus.
He also needed just 1 receiving TD to unlock another $333,333 bonus.
This was a costly outburst.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) January 2, 2022
He could have earned $333,000 each if he caught eight more passes, had 55 more yards and one touchdown to get paid.
Social media reacted to Brown’s meltdown.
What the hell is Antonio Brown doing?! pic.twitter.com/gdgSfrk0W4
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) January 2, 2022
I have no harsh words for Antonio Brown. He needs help. Lots of help. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏
— Jason Whitlock (@WhitlockJason) January 2, 2022
A I PREDICTED: Antonio Brown just lost it on the sideline, took off his helmet, pads, undershirt and threw it in the stands. Ran shirtless across the field during play and up into the locker room. This is what happens when you let him get away w fake vax card, make him "savior."
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 2, 2022
Antonio Brown took off his uniform, left the field during the Bucs game, and is now no longer on the team. What a wild way for a career to end. Guy has clear mental issues: pic.twitter.com/HPcxsRgCO2
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) January 2, 2022
If only Fauci would pull an Antonio Brown
— John – Naturally Immune – Cardillo (@johncardillo) January 2, 2022
Antonio Brown woke up a football player and going to sleep a super gremlin 😂
— 𝕎𝕀𝕋𝔸𝕂 ࿏ (@_kriswitak) January 2, 2022
Now that Brown is no longer a Buc, professional golfer Brooks Koepka suggested that a possible new career could be in the ring, “Hot take: AB will fight a Paul brother before the year is over,” he tweeted.
Hot take: AB will fight a Paul brother before the year is over
— Brooks Koepka (@BKoepka) January 2, 2022
Despite his being a loose cannon, the loss of Brown comes at a bad time for Brady and the Buccaneers if they are to win a second consecutive Super Bowl, they are already without star receiver Chris Godwin who is out for the year and Mike Evans has been experiencing hamstring problems, leaving the team very thin at the position with the playoffs two weeks away.
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