Antonio Brown's Lawyer Says Bucs Released WR in a 'Surprise Attack'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 9, 2022

Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown looks on during the second half of an NBA basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022, in New York. The Grizzlies won 118-104. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

A lawyer for Antonio Brown called out the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for a "surprise attack" after the team released the receiver Thursday.

In a Twitter thread posted Sunday morning, Sean Burstyn said the Bucs engineered a "bogus scheme" to blame Brown for not showing up to doctor's appointments that were set up during non-business hours.

Burstyn accuses the Bucs of choosing an "arbitrary" time before cutting the disgruntled wideout as Brown's team was attempting to set up an appointment with those doctors. 

"Knowing they can’t stand by Bruce Arians’ decision to cut AB for refusing to play through an injury, the Bucs formally claim to have fired AB for refusing to show up to a doctor’s appointment. But that’s misleading because the appt was being rescheduled to later the same day. Most people schedule doctor’s appointments for healing. In our view, it’s unusually perverse for the Bucs to use medical care as a setup to fire someone," Burstyn wrote. 

Burstyn went on to call Arians' decision to cut Brown midgame "degrading, inhumane, abusive, and unlawful" and accused the Bucs of engaging in a cover-up.

Brown tore off his jersey and pads before doing shirtless jumping jacks on the field in the third quarter of Tampa Bay's Week 17 matchup against the New York Jets. According to his version of events, Brown says he informed Arians he was too injured to play and was subsequently told to get off the field.

"They are telling people that first I walked off, then I was cut. No. No. No. I was cut first and then I went home. They threw me out like an animal and I refused to wear their brand on my body, so I took my jersey off," Brown said last week.

Brown said he met with a doctor Monday that diagnosed him with broken bone fragments, a ligament torn from the bone and cartilage loss in an ankle injury that had bothered him for much of the season. 

Arians said Brown's frustration came from his lack of targets in the first half rather than his injury.

“He was very upset at halftime about who was getting targeted,” Arians told reporters. “Got that calmed down, players took care of that. It started again on the sideline. We called for the personnel group that he had played in the entire game. He refused to go in the game. That’s when I looked back and saw him basically wave off the coach. I then went back, approached him about what was going on. ‘I ain’t playing.’ What’s going on? ‘I ain’t getting the ball.’ That’s when I said, ‘You’re done, get the eff out of here.'”

It's likely the Bucs and Brown are headed for a legal battle over the $2 million in incentives remaining on his contract. Bucs general manager Jason Licht revealed Brown's representatives asked for those incentives to be guaranteed a week before his outburst.