Antonio Brown is sparing no one in his post-release media tour -- not even one of his closest NFL supporters.
The Buccaneers officially cut Brown on Thursday after he abruptly left the field in the middle of Tampa Bay's game against the New York Jets following a spat with head coach Bruce Arians. Since then, the wide receiver has called out Arians, the Bucs, Tom Brady's personal trainer and several others for what he deemed a mishandling of his situation.
On Friday, Brown turned his attention to the GOAT.
"To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back,” Brown said during an appearance on the "Full Send Podcast." "Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend. Tom Brady’s my friend why? Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football. People have different meanings of what friendship is."
Brown then questioned Brady's loyalty, pointing out that he was playing on a bargain deal (one year, $3.1 million) while tight end (and close Brady friend) Rob Gronkowski is making more than double that (one year, $8 million).
"Brady is the general manager," Brown said. "He’s the guy my agent made the contract with, he’s the middleman and politician.
"... If Tom Brady is my boy, why am I playing for an earnest salary? You're my boy though right? Gronkowski's his boy, right? How much did he get paid? So why is AB on a prove-it deal? Who's better than me over there? Let's be real."
Missing from Brown's logic is the fact that he comes with extremely high risk. He signed with the Bucs in 2020 while serving an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal-conduct policy and was suspended three games this season for misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status. So, it's no wonder the Bucs didn't open their wallets for a player whose availability is often in question.
Brown also has Brady to thank for helping him land a job with the New England Patriots in 2019 and Tampa Bay in 2020, while the QB even called for the media to treat Brown with compassion after last weekend's incident. But Brown described their relationship in more transactional terms Friday.
"Brady can't do s--- by himself," Brown said. "But you guys are going to make it seem like he's just this heroic guy. We're all humans, bro. We're all dependent on somebody else to do the job.
" ... You can’t really expect anyone to be your friend in the business of football. In the business of football, our business is winning. Brady and I like winning. We have that in common. That’s what makes me want to be around him, makes us jell, makes us great."
After the events of this past week, it seems unlikely Brady and Brown will be doing more winning together.