There were plenty of rumors swirling around about what exactly went down and caused him to run off the field the way he did, but nothing had been officially confirmed… until today.
NFL insider Ian Rapoport gave an update this morning on Good Morning Football, saying that there was some sort of disagreement between Antonio and the coaching staff about his ability to play the game yesterday.
After battling an ankle injury for several weeks, Antonio didn’t feel that he was healthy enough to play. The training and coaching staff, however, believed that he was and told him that if he didn’t go into the game when he was called on, he couldn’t be there and would effectively be fired on the spot.
And as we all saw yesterday, that’s exactly what happened:
“Mid-way through the game yesterday, Bruce Arians and the offensive staff told Antonio Brown to go into the game. They believed that he was healthy.
Antonio Brown did not believe that he was healthy.
He had been battling an ankle injury for the last several weeks, did not practice Thursday, did not practice Friday and I know personally had some doubts whether or not he would be able to be out there and play.
What he told the staff from what I understand is that he was not going into the game, because in his mind, he did not feel he was healthy.
The response then from the offensive coaches and from Bruce Arians was, if you’re not going to go into the game when we tell you to go into the game, then you cannot be here.
At that point, they threw him off the sidelines and then cut him from the team. So Antonio Brown – which Bruce Arians announced at the post-game press conference – he is no longer part of the team.
They essentially told him that on the sideline, sent him packing, leaving Antonio Brown with $1 million dollar incentive right within his reach, he was going to get it. He left all of that, left the field, and now is no longer a member of the Buccaneers.”
Though no one expected it to end quite this way, the end of his time there was inevitably coming soon:
From @GMFB: The relationship between the #Bucs and Antonio Brown was quietly going the wrong way for some time. Then he refused to enter the game and was tossed from the sidelines. A look at how it all went so wrong… pic.twitter.com/3TcfmXYho7