Antonio Brown Discusses Mental Health, Tom Brady, NFL Future on 'I AM ATHLETE'

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 24, 2022

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) walks on the field during an NFL football game against the New York Jets, Sunday, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
AP Photo/Adam Hunger

Antonio Brown remains one of the most heavily discussed players in the NFL, but he provided his own perspective on Monday's episode of the I Am Athlete podcast:

Brown left the field in the middle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Week 17 game against the New York Jets, stripping off his pads and shirt before running into the locker room.

Head coach Bruce Arians told reporters after the game that Brown was "no longer a Buc" and provided few details.

Brown told host Brandon Marshall that he was dealing with an injury and he couldn't play.

"I was out since, what, Week 6 with a torn deltoid ligament, and imagine the coach tell you, like, 'Get the f--k out of here. You done,'" he said. "You hurt. They know I'm hurt."

Arians previously denied that he tried to make Brown play injured.

"At no point in time during that game did he ever ask the trainer or a doctor about his ankle," the coach told reporters earlier this month.

Many have speculated about the receiver's mental health, but he said it's not an issue.

"Why every time something happen bad, or how someone react, 'Aw, he's crazy. There's something wrong with his mental health,'" Brown said. "There's nothing wrong with my mental health. Someone told me to get the f--k out of here. I'm not passive-aggressive."

The 33-year-old said his actions were based on trying to protect his integrity.

Though his relationship with Tom Brady has seemingly soured after the incident, Brown said he was "grateful" for the quarterback giving him an opportunity in 2020, fulfilling his dream of becoming a champion.

He also praised the seven-time Super Bowl winner for his work ethic.

"Tom Brady's a winner," Brown said. "He's working every day to be a winner. And he's a leader, meaning he's tapping in with everyone around him to know the mission that we on. Not individually, collectively."

The veteran wideout also notably named Baltimore Ravens star Lamar Jackson as his top choice to play with next season.

"Action Jackson," Brown said. "Let's give Lamar Jackson his flowers. ... Shout out Lamar Jackson. That's it. Lamar Jackson is a great quarterback. Not only him throwing the ball, the dynamic of him playing, the excitement."

Jackson seemed somewhat interested in his response:

Lamar Jackson @Lj_era8

😈 <a href="https://t.co/xYTjb5XXGE">https://t.co/xYTjb5XXGE</a>

It remains to be seen whether any team will give Brown another opportunity after his unceremonious exit from Tampa Bay. He still showed he can be productive when on the field, however, averaging 77.9 receiving yards per game in seven appearances this year.