Antonio Brown Rumors: Bucs Have Yet to Formally Release WR 2 Days After Walkout

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 4, 2022

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 03: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown attends the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half at Barclays Center on January 03, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-104.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

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:

MarkMaske @MarkMaske

No resolution yet to the Antonio Brown situation, source says. The Buccaneers have been in discussions with the NFL about procedural issues and which designation potentially will be used for him, and the NFLPA has been involved. He has not been released, to this point.

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:

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

Here is the video from <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bucs?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bucs</a> WR Antonio Brown... leaving the field and saying goodbye. <a href="https://t.co/EaR0jRqcs3">pic.twitter.com/EaR0jRqcs3</a>

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. 

xz - Tampa Bay Buccaneers @Buccaneers

BA addresses the status of Antonio Brown: <a href="https://t.co/gC7D8Csin2">pic.twitter.com/gC7D8Csin2</a>

Greg Auman @gregauman

Bruce Arians on Antonio Brown: "He is no longer a Buc."

Jay Glazer @JayGlazer

Just talked to Bruce Arians who said he was trying to get AB to go into game &amp; AB refused. Tried again Brown refused &amp; 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.