Antonio Brown Rumors: Bucs Have Yet to Formally Release WR 2 Days After WalkoutJanuary 4, 2022
Antonio Brown is still technically a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the veteran wideout "did not show up on today's NFL wire, meaning the Buccaneers still hold his rights, per source."
His departure appears to be a mere formality, however:
One thing is certain—Brown will never play for the Buccaneers again after storming off the field midway through the team's 28-24 win over the New York Jets on Sunday after a sideline disagreement. Brown took his pads and jersey off, ran across the back of the end zone and waved to fans as he departed the field.
It was a bizarre scene:
Ari Meirov @MySportsUpdate
Here's a sideline view of what happened with Antonio Brown. Looks like Mike Evans was trying to calm him down but nothing was going to help. AB took everything off and left.<br><br>(video via <a href="https://twitter.com/mmmmillah?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mmmmillah</a>)<a href="https://t.co/sMii14O7bh">pic.twitter.com/sMii14O7bh</a>
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians made it abundantly clear after the game that Brown was no longer a part of the team.
Jay Glazer @JayGlazer
Just talked to Bruce Arians who said he was trying to get AB to go into game & AB refused. Tried again Brown refused & Arians told him to get out. On if he saw AB take his jersey off. <br><br>“Yeah, I did. Never seen anything like it in all my years.” <a href="https://twitter.com/NFLonFOX?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFLonFOX</a>
As for the sideline kerfuffle, there are conflicting stories. The NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Brown "did not believe he was healthy" after dealing with an ankle injury for several weeks and reportedly told team staff he wasn't going into the game for those reasons.
Rapoport added that the team's staff then reportedly threw Brown off the team's sideline and essentially removed him from the team.
Arians pushed back against that report, however, telling reporters Monday he didn't know whether Brown was injured and that Brown never told him he was hurt.
"It's pretty obvious what happened," he added. "He left the field, and that was it."
Arians has made it clear there's no coming back from this incident for Brown. All that reportedly remains is the procedural side of his departure.