Antonio Brown had no choice. He was about to lose $30 million (he still might lose it all or a big chunk) and knew no one else would pay him that amount of money. Not after all he’s done. Not after reportedly yelling at his GM in front of the whole team and calling him a “cracker.”
The reality was, in order to make amends, to try and salvage the guaranteed money in his contract and possibly his future in the NFL, he had to apologize to his team, to Raiders GM Mike Mayock, to everyone he impacted, and that’s apparently what he did this morning.
A day after news broke that Brown and Mayock had reportedly been involved in a confrontation at practice and Brown was facing a suspension and possibly having his contract voided, Brown saw the writing on the wall. Many other players have had their contract voided for conduct detrimental to the team, and Brown was on his way to the same fate. Who knows, he still might be. But the first step in the healing process is always an apology. And not just this one to his teammates and the Raiders brass. He’ll also issue a public apology soon too.
Well, depending on what the Raiders do next.
Of course, a big reason he’s doing this, and probably the biggest reason, is he knows no team, and I mean no team, would guarantee him $30 million in a contract right now like the Raiders did after trading for him from the Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s a talented wide receiver, perhaps the best of this generation, but with him comes more baggage than Kim Kardashian takes on vacation.
He quit on the Steelers and refused to play in Week 17 last year when they were trying to make the playoffs. That was after he reportedly got into a confrontation with Ben Roethlisberger and also got into a sideline altercation with the Steelers offensive coordinator. And let’s not forget when he put Mike Tomlin’s postgame speech on Facebook Live. That’s a big no-no in the NFL.
Since coming to the Raiders, he’s been just as big of a headache. He injured his feet in a cryogenic freezing chamber accident, posted his displeasure about being fined by Mayock on social media and then had the blow-up at practice.
No, no one is paying $30 million for that. And so, Brown had two choices: take what he could get on the open market, or tuck tail and apologize. He chose the latter, most likely because he knows that’s the only path to $30 million.
And who knows, maybe he’ll play Week 1 after all.