Drama is the last thing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers need heading into the NFC playoffs.
At 12-4, they are already gearing up for the postseason, even if they have one regular-season game left.
But the tension between Antonio Brown and Bruce Arians may disrupt the team’s focus.
Video of Antonio Brown leaving the field after taking off his jersey and shirt and throw it into the stands. pic.twitter.com/1hwNYei5Fq
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 2, 2022
In the end, Brown is not a part of the Buccaneers after the sequence of events that happened during their game versus the New York Jets.
It will take time to verify which side is telling the truth.
But whichever story checks out, both sides lost after this bizarre saga.
What Antonio Brown Lost
Brown’s football future is on the line after this incident.
He released a lengthy statement to share his side of the story days after the Jets game.
The All-Pro wide receiver claimed that Arians knew about his ankle injury and that he was unfit to play.
That’s why he refrained from checking in when they wanted him to line up.
.@ShannonSharpe on Brady speaking up for Antonio Brown:
"Tom is sincere in what he says. The man stuck his neck out for AB, even let him stay at his house. It's disappointing because when Tom gives you an opportunity, it speaks volume. I can't believe AB did this man like that." pic.twitter.com/Tg5lNSV16z
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) January 4, 2022
At that moment, Arians allegedly said, “You’re done!” and ran his finger across his throat.
Brown also claimed that the Buccaneers forced him to seek a second opinion on the injury even if he already had surgery scheduled.
Arians refuted Brown’s statements during a later press conference.
But Brown’s actions will have significant consequences.
Health over Wealth # Barbarian pic.twitter.com/5pxjpZ6491
— AB (@AB84) January 6, 2022
The most immediate is his removal from the team and an opportunity to get another Super Bowl.
He also missed close to $1 million worth of incentives because he was eight receptions, 55 receiving yards, and a touchdown away from his targets.
Finally, not setting foot on an NFL field as an active player again might be the biggest ramification of it all.
"On Wednesday Antonio Brown went to the team & asked them to guarantee one million dollars of his incentives & they said no.. he was upset heading into Sunday" ~@RapSheet#PatMcAfeeShowLIVE pic.twitter.com/keJlTGTCOA
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) January 6, 2022
His numbers this season suggest that he could still play at a high level.
Unfortunately, no one will take a chance because of that lasting image of him leaving MetLife Stadium topless.
What The Buccaneers Lost
According to Arians, Brown was upset because he wasn’t getting enough targets.
Likewise, he added that they knew his injury, but their medical staff cleared him to play.
Therefore, it was puzzling for him that Brown did not enter the game during a personnel group wherein he’s included.
But while it’s the team who released the 33-year-old wide receiver, doing so will weaken their receiving corps.
— xz – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) January 6, 2022
Brown did miss several games this season, but he performed well when he took the field.
He played seven games for the Buccaneers and topped 100 receiving yards in three of them.
.@TomBrady opened up Antonio Brown in his "Let's Go!" podcast: “We used to think that we were robots out there and we’d go out there and play and it’s more than that now."
"There’s a humanity to everything that we’re doing out there."pic.twitter.com/7sFoPobfLu
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) January 5, 2022
He also had a 93-yard output against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Brown finished the season with four touchdowns, but the Buccaneers never lost whenever he played, including the come-from-behind win over the Jets.
The Buccaneers will be losing a marquee receiver who doesn’t shy away from the bright lights of the big games.
Not having him for the playoffs could be why Tampa Bay won’t win another Super Bowl.