Antonio Brown's Lawyer Says WR Will Take Legal Action After Buccaneers ReleaseJanuary 7, 2022
The Antonio Brown saga could result in legal action.
According to ESPN's Michele Steele, Brown's attorney, Sean Burstyn, said the plan is to "take legal action against the responsible individuals." While nothing has been filed, any legal action would be taken because of perceived damage to the rest of Brown's career from the ongoing fallout after Sunday's incident during the game against the New York Jets.
Brown took off his jersey and helmet and emphatically left the field while motioning to the crowd at MetLife Stadium.
The Buccaneers announced Thursday they "terminated" his contract and added, "While Antonio did receive medical treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report the week leading up to last Sunday's game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play."
Yet Brown posted a lengthy statement via Burstyn on Wednesday that said head coach Bruce Arians cut him on the spot because he would not re-enter the game because of a lingering ankle injury:
"As part of their ongoing cover-up, they are acting like I wasn't cut and now demanding that I see a doctor of their choice to examine my ankle," the wide receiver wrote. "What they did not know until now is that on Monday morning I had an urgent MRI on my ankle."
He also said an MRI showed ligament tears, cartilage loss and broken bone fragments and that he already scheduled surgery.
Brown also shared text messages with Arians explaining that his ankle was less than 100 percent:
ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jenna Laine reported on the situation, noting Arians said Brown did not say his ankle was a problem during the game. In fact, the coach said the wide receiver was upset about his lack of targets, which is notable because general manager Jason Licht said Brown and his agent recently asked that the remaining $2 million in contract incentives be guaranteed.
He was 28 catches, 255 receiving yards and three touchdowns away from meeting various criteria, but Tampa Bay declined.
Arians confirmed the texts Brown shared.
"You saw the text," he said. "If you can go on Saturday, I want you with the team. In case you can go. He participated in the Saturday walk-through like he was going. There was never another question about it."
Brown also tweeted that his teammates didn't know about the situation: "Don't get it twisted. My brothers have been good to me. From Tom to practice squad, we were a top-level unit. They have been good to me and knew nothing about my talks with coach last week. The team mishandled this situation. They let me down and, more importantly, my teammates."
Tampa Bay will now look to defend its Super Bowl crown without the wide receiver.
It is 12-4 and finishes its regular season Sunday against the Carolina Panthers.