New England Patriots

New England Patriots

Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) reacts after a catch against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

A lot has gone down in the days since Antonio Brown stripped down to his skivvies and danced off the field in the middle of the Bucs’ comeback win over the Jets. It really started popping off on Thursday, starting with some predictably incendiary social media posts from Brown himself.

First, early Thursday morning, the now-former Bucs receiver posted a screenshot of a private text conversation between himself and Alex Guerrero. Brown apparently paid Guerrero $100,000 up front for personalized training, but it never took place, and so he asked for half his money back. Guerrero appeared to oblige.

But the head-turning part of this post is that he also ropes Tom Brady into it, calling him out for working with “people like this” as part of the post. There are obviously a lot of opinions out there on Guerrero’s sketchy past and his business practices. But no matter where you stand on him, this is clearly the posting of a person who’s acting out of control.

That is evidenced as much by the fact that Brown accidentally posted his bank account information as part of his morning.

  • Brown calls out Bruce Arians

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 19: Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watch from the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – DECEMBER 19: Head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers watch from the sidelines during the game against the New Orleans Saints at Raymond James Stadium on December 19, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Brown didn’t only publicly call out Alex Guerrero and, by extension, Tom Brady. He also had a private conversation with Bucs head coach Bruce Arians that he wanted to fire off into the world.

    The problem with Arians stems from Brown’s ankle injury, which he played through against the Jets, up until his sideline blowup and resulting theatrics. Brown reportedly didn’t feel he was healthy enough to continue playing, Arians ultimately told him to leave if he’s going to refuse to play, and the rest is, well, you know.

    The issue with Brown’s beef, here, is there’s a gap between this conversation and the fact that he suited up and played on Sunday. Unless, Brown tried to imply that he was somehow forced to play.

    It was soon after these social media posts that the Bucs acted swiftly, and also attempted to fill in the gaps.

  • Bucs officially release Brown

    TAMPA, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 09: Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on September 09, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    TAMPA, FLORIDA – SEPTEMBER 09: Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reacts during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on September 09, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Mere hours after Brown detonated his relationship with Arians – and possibly Brady and Guerrero, too – the Bucs tweeted that Brown had officially been released. “Terminated,” in fact.

    The statement also indicated that Brown never told anyone on the Bucs’ medical staff that he was unable to play, and that they had officially cleared him.

    Brown could argue that the sideline disagreement with Arians and the Bucs’ medical staff, after he had played, is a whole separate issue. But it’s flimsy to suggest that the team alone is to blame for him playing in the first place.

    Arians explained his side of the story in Sunday’s incident, in detail, when he spoke to reporters on Thursday. He also shot down the argument that would best be described as fantasy or fan fiction, which is that the Bucs somehow played him against his will.

    “You can’t force a player to play,” Arians said. “I mean, they have that choice, it’s their body, and he decided to play. He and Mike [Evans] were both on pitch counts, and we tried to manage that as best as we could in the first half.”

    Brown proved more than anyone that he has that choice to play or not play, with that spectacle on Sunday.

  • Tom Brady reacts to Brown’s release

    Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks in the tunnel with wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Dec 26, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) walks in the tunnel with wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) in the fourth quarter at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

    Brady has been impressively strong-willed in his commitment to having compassion and empathy for Brown and his situation. Maybe you thought the Instagram posts might have finally burned the bridge, but there’s a chance that it didn’t.

    Brady, at the very least, is not going to try to inflame the already-existing drama. Predictably, he’s trying his best to keep his thoughts to football. That’s ultimately his motivation, and certainly part of his motivation to get the most out of Brown as a player.

    “I think there’s a lot of personal feelings, obviously. I don’t think this is really the week to discuss it, though,” Brady said. “I’m just going to do the best I can do as the quarterback of the team, try to put together a great week and finish strong.

    “You just always deal with different things over the course of the season and that’s what we’re doing this week.”

  • What Now?

    Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) on the field before the game against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    Jan 2, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) on the field before the game against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

    As of this writing, Brown has only posted one tweet on Friday. It’s for, believe it or not, a charitable endeavor.

    Update: He is, however, making an appearance on the Full Send Podcast, hosted by popular social media personality Bob Menery. The appearance premiered live and concluded shortly after this article was published. So, stay tuned, I suppose. The drama might not be over.

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