"We've exhausted everything. We tried every way possible to make it work," he said. "All I'm gonna say is it's disappointing. I'm really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office—we did everything we could to make this work and I'm sorry it didn't. I apologize, but I will tell you I'm very proud of what we did as an organization to try."
Gruden also wished Brown luck going forward and said he was glad he actually got to meet Brown, unlike defensive end Khalil Mack, who the Raiders traded last offseason before he ever joined the team amid a contract dispute:
"Our captains did everything they could to make this work," Gruden added, per Vic Tafur of The Athletic.
Linebacker and team captain Tahir Whitehead echoed Gruden's sentiments.
"At the end of the day, he didn't want to be here," he said, per Tafur. "And the other guys here put the team first. We did everything we could to support him and tell him we wanted him here."
The Raiders and Brown's relationship was a rocky one all summer long. Brown missed time at training camp with foot issues after a cryotherapy session went wrong and while he was disputing with the NFL over his banned helmet, all while HBO's cameras were documenting the team for Hard Knocks.
But things came to a boil when the Raiders fined Brown for missing practices. Brown posted the letter informing him of those fines on social media, which Tafur reported led to a heated confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, and while Brown apologized to the team and made a public statement about moving forward with the Raiders, he also posted a video which included a recorded phone conversation with Gruden.
And the Raiders weren't done with the fines, not only hitting him with another fine for his confrontation with Mayock but also voiding the guarantees in his contract.
That was the last straw for Brown, who took to Instagram to request his release Saturday. The Raiders acquiesced, ending the long-running saga.
For the Raiders, who gave up a third- and fifth-round pick to acquire Brown, it cost them their most dynamic offensive player before he played a snap. For Brown, now an unrestricted free agent, it calls into question which team will take on his baggage, though given his immense talent and ability, it's hard to imagine he'll be without a team for long.