Antonio Brown: Tom Brady Is Only My Friend Because 'I'm a Good Football Player'

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 7, 2022

ATLANTA, GEORGIA - DECEMBER 20: Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers talks with Antonio Brown #81 prior to the game against the Atlanta Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown questioned the nature of his friendship with Bucs quarterback Tom Brady following his release on Thursday.

Brown discussed Brady during an appearance Friday on the Full Send Podcast (via ESPN's Kimberley A. Martin), saying the future Hall of Famer essentially served as the general manager when the wideout signed with the Bucs in October 2020.

"To me, a friend is someone who's got your back. Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend," Brown said. "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."

"Brady can't do s--t by himself," Brown added. "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."

Brown's feelings toward Brady have been difficult to pinpoint over the past couple days.

First, the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver posted a Home Alone 2 meme on Instagram that replaced the Christmas movie's antagonists with Brady and Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians:

Greg Auman @gregauman

More from Antonio Brown on Instagram. This is devolving quickly. <a href="https://t.co/8Y5P2FwqNv">pic.twitter.com/8Y5P2FwqNv</a>

He then took to Twitter in an effort to clarify the situation, saying he respected Brady and his other teammates, and his discontent was with Arians and the team itself:

AB @AB84

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.

The situation has spiraled out of control since Brown tore off his pads and stormed off the field during the third quarter Sunday's win over the New York Jets.

He's said the pain from a preexisting ankle injury made him unable to play and Arians decided to cut him because he wouldn't return to the field. Arians said no injury was mentioned during their sideline conversation before the receiver prematurely exited.

Only Brown and Arians know the truth about what's occurred, but the Bucs had little choice but to release him as they prepare to defend their Super Bowl title in the playoffs.

The 33-year-old receiver will be subject to waivers. If he clears, he'll be eligible to sign with any team ahead of the postseason as an unrestricted free agent.

Meanwhile, Brady and Co. can move as high as the No. 2 seed in the NFC with a win over the Carolina Panthers in their regular-season finale on Sunday.