If you thought all this Antonio Brown drama was much ado about nothing, you might be dead wrong.
Brown missed the majority of training camp with frostbitten feet and an issue with the helmet rule mandated by the NFL. The Raiders fined Brown for missing practice and a walkthrough due to his displeasure with being forced to wear a helmet that works, and Brown was none too happy with his checkbook being dinged. The receiver posted the notice of his fine to his Instagram story and called out the Raiders for trying to take his money.
That issues apparently boiled over Wednesday when Brown and Raiders general manager Mike Mayock got into an altercation that ended with the four-time All-Pro threatening to punch Mayock before punting a football and telling the GM to "fine him" for that. The Raiders reportedly plan to suspend Brown for the incident.
Brown was not at practice Thursday, but if you thought this would blow over soon, think again. The star receiver has unfollowed both the team and quarterback Derek Carr on Instagram as he continues to make the situation worse with each passing minute.
Antonio Brown has unfollowed the Raiders and Derek Carr on Instagram. pic.twitter.com/IL0osBYMLQ— Josh Schrock (@Schrock_And_Awe) September 5, 2019
With the previous fines, the Raiders have documented a pattern of behavior that would give them ground to suspend Brown for conduct detrimental to the team, and that could allow them to void the remaining $29.125 million that Brown is owed over the next two seasons, and cut him without further cost should they decide the headache no longer is worth it.
The Raiders, of course, had big plans for their offense with Brown in the fold but now it looks like they will open the season without him. Whether or not he returns and plays a game for the Raiders appears to be up in the air.
Brown's talent is undeniable, and the Raiders have put up with a lot in the name of having a superstar of his caliber on the roster. But Mayock appears to have reached his breaking point, and now it's up to Brown to decide if he truly wants to help the Raiders win football games.
That might start with an apology to Mayock and a follow back for Carr and the Silver and Black.