Look: Antonio Brown Posts Cryptic IG Caption Amid Rumors of Retirement Threat

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 11, 2019

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown during NFL football minicamp Tuesday, June 11, 2019, in Alameda, Calif. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
Eric Risberg/Associated Press

Antonio Brown appears to be firing back at his critics in a new Instagram post.

The Oakland Raiders receiver posted a picture with his son and a caption saying, "Pollitoooo Wolves don’t loose sleep over the opinions of sheep."

B/R Gridiron @brgridiron

AB speaks 🐺 https://t.co/6Xiof2tYpm

Brown is away from the team as he recovers from severe frostbite suffered during a cryotherapy session in France. He recently filed a grievance against the NFL over a rule change that would prevent him from wearing his preferred helmet.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Brown has threatened to retire if the NFL does not allow him to wear the helmet, which is not approved by the National Operating Committee for Standards and Athletic Equipment. The NFL began banning players from wearing unapproved helmets this season. 

"And I think it'll be interesting if the NFL forces Antonio to wear a different helmet," a source told Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic. "And he does play and he doesn't retire as some people have reported he will do. And then he suffers a really severe injury. I'd hate to be the NFL. Because now you've forced him into wearing a different type of helmet. And I think at that point, though, the liability will be dramatic."

Brown has been engulfed in controversy the entire offseason, beginning with him sitting out Week 17 of the 2018 season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He demanded a trade from his only NFL home not long after the season ended and began a public campaign of alienating himself from the organization. The seven-time Pro Bowler ripped quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin and team management over his treatment in comparison to Roethlisberger, and the Steelers eventually traded him to Oakland.

Brown has reportedly been up in arms since offseason workouts regarding the helmet change, which he says impedes his vision and ability to catch the football. 

"He's still freaking out about it," a Raiders player told NFL.com's Michael Silver. "He hasn't been here for a while, and no one knows where he's at."

The NFL is expected to rule on Brown's grievance as early as next week.