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The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have released wide receiver Antonio Brown, announced by the team on Thursday.
Dealing with the ramifications of Week 17’s sideline tirade between Brown and head coach Bruce Arians, the team expressed no further interest in mending their ties to Brown.
Since joining the Buccaneers, the media has been vigilant with Brown’s conduct and how it would pair with the no-nonsense style of Arians.
Pent-up discourse peaked in Week 17 when Brown refused to enter in the third quarter of their matchup against the Jets, citing an ankle injury, which Arians brushed off.
Brown was frustrated by the feedback and refused the coach’s demand. Arians allegedly told the wideout to kick rocks after his second request.
The vet ripped off his jersey, threw his undershirt to the Jets crowd at MetLife and jogged through the field to retreat to the locker room — his final moments as an active Buccaneer.
In the ensuing days, the Bucs held on to their decision to cut Brown. The team reportedly reached out to Brown since the tirade to ease some frustration regarding the lack of communication on the injury, which had previously sidelined him since Week 6 before returning in Week 16. Brown has reportedly closed himself off from the Bucs brass all week.
Arians alleged that Brown was bitter over the target share as the game progressed.
Up until his early exit in the third, Brown sat only behind tight end Rob Gronkowski (9) and lead receiver Mike Evans (7). Brown had five targets.
On Twitter, Brown clarified that his issue was unrelated to his teammates, piling the blame on the organization’s handling of his ankle injury.
On Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times relayed a statement from Brown and his attorney stating that he underwent an MRI — revealing ligament damage and “broken bone fragments,” contrary to the Bucs’ evaluation.
AB’s side of the story has zeroed in on the nagging impediment, while the Bucs and Arians have presented several angles toward their end of the story.
Opposing the coaching staff’s insistence that Brown remained mum on the injury until the meltdown, the wideout posted screenshots of messages sent to Arians leading up to Sunday.
True to form, AB went fully rogue online and later called out Tom Brady’s long-time conditioning mentor, Alex Guerrero. The receiver posted screenshots of his communications with Guerrero, questioning the validity of his medical consult based on his ankle’s progress, or lack of.
Brown joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Oct. 27, 2020. He recorded 483 yards on 45 receptions through eight games — en route to a Super Bowl win that postseason.
He finishes the 2021-22 regular season with 42 catches and 545 receiving yards.
CBS Sports’ Josina Anderson announced on Tuesday that teams hovering playoff contention have been keen on Brown’s status with the Bucs, claiming there are suitors ready to pounce on the receiver if the team decided to part ways.
Follow along on Twitter: @AlejandroAveela