NFL

Buccaneers terminate the contract of wide receiver Antonio Brown

Adam Hunger
Antonio Brown said he was asked to play under pressure Sunday against the Jets.


The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they have terminated the contract of wide receiver Antonio Brown, effective immediately.

The team acknowledged that Brown received treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report leading up to last Sunday’s game against the Jets, but he was cleared to play by the medical team. The team also added that Brown did not indicate that he could not play.

On Wednesday night, Brown released a statement through his lawyer saying he was asked to play under pressure and detailed a sideline conversation with Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians that preceded Brown taking off his jersey and walking off the field against the New York Jets.

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In the statement, he claimed Arians lied about the incident — and about his knowledge of Brown’s injury — in the postgame press conference. He called the actions of the coach and organization “part of an ongoing coverup,” and that a Monday MRI revealed significant injuries to the ankle, which will require surgery.

The saga continued Thursday morning, when the wide receiver shared conversations he said were between him and Arians in the days leading up to last week’s game.

“This is BA. Make sure your [sic] ready to go tomorrow. We ARE NOT resting for the playoffs,” one text from Arians read.

Brown sent back a picture of him apparently getting treatment for his injured ankle, and wrote:

“I’m all in coach really cain’t [sic] get to full speed I wanna win wanna be there if I wake up tomorrow feel better I’ll be ready kinda rolled it outside on 2pt play I want what’s best for team lmk when you free I’ll call u.”

Arians addressed the situation Thursday afternoon, telling reporters that Brown was upset at halftime about who was getting targeted. When it came time to go back in the game, Arians said Brown refused because he was not getting the ball, and that’s when Arians kicked Brown off the sideline.

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“At no point in time during that game did he ever ask the trainer or doctor about his ankle. That’s the normal protocol. I was never notified of it,” said Arians.

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