Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown alleged the team offered him $200,000 to undergo mental health treatment amid his sideline outburst that led to his release.
"These guys at Tampa Bay Bucs tried to make an agreement with me to give me $200,000 to go to the crazy house so these guys could look like they know what they're talking about," Brown told Bryant Gumbel on HBO's Real Sports.
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In his first TV interview since being cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Bryant Gumbel interviews controversial NFL star Antonio Brown and his lawyer Sean Burstyn. Catch a new episode of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RealSports?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#RealSports</a> tonight on <a href="https://twitter.com/hbomax?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@hbomax</a> <a href="https://t.co/Cx7IXClj7C">pic.twitter.com/Cx7IXClj7C</a>
Brown's attorney, Sean Burstyn, said the Buccaneers presented the offer and they were told by general manager Jason Licht to not "spin this any other way."
"The offer was Antonio would basically sit on the sidelines, go on some list and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment," Burstyn said. "We were specifically told in writing by the general manager—twice—'don't spin this any other way.'"
Brown also accused the team of repeatedly injecting him with Toradol—a pain killer with potentially dangerous side effects—before games so that he could play through an ankle injury. The NFLPA sent a memo to its players last year warning them to limit their use of the drug.
“Toradol should not be used prior to, during, or after NFL games or practices as a means of reducing anticipated pain,” the memo said.
Toradol use has been rampant across the NFL for several years, though multiple players have warned of the damage caused by long-term use.
Brown was released by the Bucs on Jan. 6 after getting into an on-field argument with coach Bruce Arians and tearing his jersey and shoulder pads off as he left the field during a Week 17 game against the New York Jets. Arians said Brown refused to re-enter the game because the receiver was upset over a lack of targets; Brown said the coach attempted to make him play through an injury.
While nothing has been announced, it seems likely Brown is preparing to attempt to recoup around $2 million in potential bonuses he could have been paid by the Bucs for the remainder of the 2022 season. He was playing on a one-year, $6.3 million contract during the season, which came with several performance incentives.