Listen: Jerry Rice Says 'We All Got Played' by Antonio Brown's Raiders Departure

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2019

Oakland Raiders' Antonio Brown jogs onto the field before stretching during NFL football practice in Alameda, Calif., Tuesday, Aug. 20, 2019. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

At Antonio Brown's introductory press conference with the Oakland Raiders in March, the 31-year-old told reporters his goal was to catch Jerry Rice as the NFL's all-time leading receiver with his new team. 

Well, he certainly caught Rice's attention without playing a game for the Raiders: 

95.7 The Game @957thegame

.@JerryRice says “we all got played” in the AB situation https://t.co/51OLRB47h9

Additionally, the Hall of Famer called Brown "a Denzel Washington, and he won the Oscar" (h/t TMZ).

Brown was granted his requested release from Oakland on Saturday. Just hours later, he signed a one-year contract with the New England Patriots worth up to $15 million. The Pats then added a $20 million 2020 option "to help for cap proration purposes this season," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday.

The series of events leading up to Brown's departure were extensive:

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

AB’s time in Oakland: ➖ Cryotherapy frostbite ➖ Helmet grievance ➖ Threatened retirement ➖ “All-in or all-out” ➖ Posts fine on IG ➖ Gets into it with GM ➖ Apologizes, no suspension ➖ Posts Gruden phone convo ➖ Guarantees voided ➖ Asks for release ➖ Cut https://t.co/walYW1W3XI

Following the Raiders' decision to cut ties with the four-time All-Pro, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters the organization "exhausted everything": 

"We tried every way possible to make it work. And all I'm going to say is that it is disappointing. I'm really proud of our players, our coaches, our owner, our front office. We did everything we could to make this work. I'm sorry it didn't. I apologize, but I will tell you that I am very proud of what we did as an organization to try. And I wish Antonio nothing but the best. And I'm sorry we never got a chance to see him in the Silver and Black."

However, to Rice's point, the Raiders could have tried giving Brown the literal moon and he still wouldn't have stayed. According to The Athletic's Jeff Howe, "there are teams around the NFL that believe Brown wanted to be a Patriot all along, and Brown might have just been doing anything possible to propel himself out of Oakland."

ESPN's Schefter and Chris Mortensen added validity to that report with one of their own on Sunday NFL Countdown


Antonio Brown sought advice from social media consultants on how he could accelerate his release from the Raiders, accoring to @mortreport. https://t.co/lXBQmxOB4Z

And now—after a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to Oakland that feels like a century ago—Brown is eligible to make his Patriots debut in Week 2 at Miami. 

If his long game was indeed to end up in New England, he succeeded—so much so that Tom Brady told USA Today's Jarrett Bell his new receiver is welcome to move into his home.

The Patriots will hope to see the same kind of success on the field with Brown coming off an NFL-leading 15 receiving touchdowns as well as recording at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last six seasons.