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."
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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.