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Antonio Brown says he won’t get ankle surgery without a commitment from a team

Mike Florio and Chris Simms reflect on Bruce Arians' track record on the field and within his coaching staffs after he stepped down as head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Free-agent receiver Antonio Brown has maintained for weeks that he needs surgery on his ankle. It was believed he’d get it fixed and then embark on returning to football.

Now, Brown has turned the timeline upside down.

Brown recently told that he won’t get the ankle fixed until he knows that he has a job with an NFL team.

“I need to get my ankle fixed, but I just want to make sure I got an obligation or a commitment from a team,” Brown said. “It’s a lot for a guy to go do surgery without an idea of where you gonna work, or who you going to work for.”

Brown, who has been pursuing a wide range of other interests since his career with the Buccaneers imploded nearly three months ago, made it clear that he still wants to play.

“I’m a player first,” Brown said. “I couldn’t even be in this position without being a football player. So I never want to take that for granted. I would love to continue my career. I got a lot of game left in me.”

Maybe he does, but it’s hard to imagine a team making any type of commitment to him if he needs ankle surgery. If he truly wants to play, he needs to get himself healthy and then see what happens.

The problem may be that teams are having a hard time forgetting what happened in Tampa. Although talent often secures a player’s next second chance, Brown may not be sufficiently dominant to get teams to overlook the bizarre circumstances of his latest NFL divorce.