There’s another chapter in the latest Antonio Brown saga.
After his arduous fight, tooth, and nail, in an attempt to get the NFL to change its ruling on his currently ineligible helmet failed, Antonio Brown made it seem like he was going to report back to practice after missing following that ordeal, and dealing with his feet.
The Oakland Raiders GM Mike Mayock, seem to be tired of Antonio Brown and his antics. Mayock did not mince his words when he released a statement regard Brown and his no-show for practice again.
“AB is not here today,” Mayock said to a pool of small reporters. “Here’s the bottom line: He’s upset about the helmet issue. We have supported that, we appreciate that. But at this point, we’ve pretty much exhausted all avenues of relief. So from our perspective, it’s time for him to be all in or all out. We’re hoping he’s back soon. We’ve got 89 guys busting their tails. We are really excited about where this franchise is going, and we’re hoping AB is going to be a big part of it, starting Week 1 against Denver. End of story, no questions.”
While Brown himself hasn’t responded, his agent Drew Rosenhaus provided a brief update on where AB stands on whether he is “all in, or all out.”
It is literally Rosenhaus’ job to make AB appear in a positive light, so it’s no surprise that he downplays the significance of Brown literally coming and going from practice whenever he so desires.
The Oakland Raiders do not have a lot of options at the moment. If they cut Antonio Brown, they will owe him $30 million, and he will be able to sign with any team he chooses. What is seemingly the only other option for the Raiders would be almost the equivalent of a nuclear option. Per the NFL CBA, the Raiders have the option to send AB what is known as a Five Day Letter.
The letter would inform Brown that he has five days to report to camp, or else he will be placed on a reserve/left squad list that would not allow him to play football in the NFL for the 2019-20 season, AND would no longer guarantee 29 million of his 30 million currently guaranteed.
This would be an absolute last resort for the Raiders, mainly because it would absolutely get the attention of AB, and because I’m sure he doesn’t have interest in losing $30 million, he would report to camp. Him reporting to camp would obviously be against his will because he has barely been there for the last three weeks, and there is no telling what inexplicable actions he may take, or what drama he may start IN the locker room.
If the Raiders do send him that letter, demanding he come in, and he comes in and proves to be an issue, after proper measures are taken, via fines, and shorter suspension, the Raiders would be able to place Brown on a four-game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team, which would void his guarantees for the 2020 season.
Mayock and John Gruden, the team’s head coach, will have to decide if they want to handle all of that while trying to build a team that is in a difficult division with former NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes, or whether they would just cut their losses, and move on from AB before he even suits up to play a single down.
This whole situation is beyond bizarre, but it’s as simple as this.
All Antonio Brown has to do is pick a helmet, show up to camp, and collect his $30 million check. The reality is, he doesn’t even have to be good.
But does Brown even care about that $30 million? Time will tell.