Justin Hathaway

Antonio Brown wants Raiders to release him after contract guarantees voided

USA Today

Antonio Brown wants Raiders to release him after contract guarantees voided

So much for Antonio Brown playing in the Raiders' season opener ...

The mercurial wide receiver woke up the NFL world Saturday morning with an Instagram post that ended with the message "release me @Raiders," and it didn't take long to find out why.

Brown emailed ESPN's Jeff Darlington and explained that the Raiders "took away my [contract] guarantees." Brown also told Darlington there's "no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week."

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Raiders had fined Brown $215,073.53 for conduct detrimental to the team, over his Wednesday confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock. That allowed the Raiders to void the $29.125 million in contract guarantees they gave him when they acquired him from the Pittsburgh Steelers last offseason.

ESPN also reported that the Raiders told Brown he isn't entitled to termination pay if they release him. That means the team could cut ties and not pay Brown a dime.

Brown's request comes one day after he apologized to his Raiders teammates over the Mayock confrontation. Raiders coach Jon Gruden then said the plan was for Brown to play in Monday night's season opener against the Denver Broncos, and the receiver issued a short statement in which he said "I'm excited to be a part of the Raiders."

[RELATED: KD wanted to trade AB to Washington]

Later that night, Brown bizarrely posted a video that included a private phone conversation with Gruden, with this telling exchange:

Gruden: "Let me ask you this: Do you want to be a Raider or not?"

Brown: "Man, I've been trying to be a Raider since Day 1. I've been f---ing working my ass off harder than anyone. I don't know why it's a question of me being a Raider. It's like, do you guys want me to be a Raider?"

Gruden: "Please stop this s--t and just play football. How hard is that? You're a great football player. Just play football."

Brown: "I'm more than just a football player, man. It ain't about the football. I know I can do that. I show you guys that on the daily. This is my life. Ain't no more games."

But the games were just beginning, and Brown now wants to take his elsewhere.

Why Tiger Woods wore Raiders hat during Rafael Nadal's U.S. Open win


Why Tiger Woods wore Raiders hat during Rafael Nadal's U.S. Open win

Tiger Woods evidently had a message for good pal Rafael Nadal at the U.S. Open in New York:

Just win, baby.

Nadal did just that Sunday night, dispatching Marin Cilic 6-3, 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 in a fourth-round match at Arthur Ashe Stadium, as Woods watched while rocking an Oakland Raiders hat.

Woods and Nadal are longtime Nike athletes, so Tiger’s Raiders lid probably was a surprise to many. However, Tiger is a well-known Silver and Black backer, as he grew up in Southern California while the Raiders played in Los Angeles. He’s also attended games at the Coliseum, and owns a pretty sweet Raiders pool table that has quarterback Derek Carr’s approval.

Clearly, Tiger is pumped for football season, and his public support of the Raiders almost might help fans forget that he once rooted for the hated Broncos in a Super Bowl.

Capt. Andrew Luck tweets ‘coming home’ letter after Colts QB retires


Capt. Andrew Luck tweets ‘coming home’ letter after Colts QB retires

Dearest Mother, cue Ken Burns’ “The Civil War” documentary violin music and a throaty, somber voiceover.

Capt. Andrew Luck is coming home.

The Twitter parody account, which has attracted 521,000 followers (and many more laughs) by reimagining shaggy-bearded Luck as a Civil War soldier writing letters to his mom, delivered this message Sunday morning, after the real Luck announced his retirement from the NFL

If this also is the end for @CaptAndrewLuck, which started in December 2015, Twitter just became a less humorous place. Jokes about the former Stanford star’s various “battles” and him eating such exotic foods as braised pigeon shins and zesty gopher wrists drew laughs and retweets.

But in their own light way, the tweets also highlighted the beating the Indianapolis Colts quarterback’s body took over his career. Squirrel oil as a treatment for various ailments was mentioned in so many tweets that it almost became an expectation. You even can buy a squirrel oil T-shirt through the account.

The author of the account isn’t known, and while Luck himself isn’t writing the Civil War-era-style letters, he’s admitted that he enjoys them.

“I'm not clever enough to write that, but it's pretty cool,” Luck told NFL Network in January. “I'm glad people find a little enjoyment about it when maybe some things on the Internet can be a little meaner."

Luck even had some fun with the whole meme before last season.

[RELATED: How Luck's retirement eases Raiders’ early season schedule]

Whether or not we’ll ever hear from Capt. Luck remains to be seen. But if we don’t, we might need some of Mother’s trusty squirrel oil to soothe our souls.

Go easy, Captain.