Worst, he did so without his uniform that security nearly mistook him for a fan.
This antic forced the Buccaneers to kick him off the roster, and it would be impossible for him to sign with another team.
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
It’s hard to win in the league, let alone with such a distraction.
But while injured players carted off the field are typical, an NFL athlete quitting during the game is odd.
The reason behind Brown’s exit stemmed from a direct order by head coach Bruce Arians.
However, no one expected the way he responded to the request.
Refusing Simple Instructions
Arians commanded Brown to enter the game, but the player declined.
That’s the simplest version of the events that led to the shocking incident.
The head coach told him to leave, to which Brown responded but in an overblown manner.
He took off his helmet, then his jersey and protective pads.
Brown continued to remove his tank top and gloves before jogging off the field.
Tom Brady said he encourages everyone to be compassionate towards Antonio Brown. He also said he wasn't aware of what was happening while it was happening. He said he found out what happened after the game.
— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) January 2, 2022
He even waved to the crowd and flashed a peace sign on his way out.
On one end, he was following the coach’s order.
But going overboard to fulfill the request was inappropriate.
He could have buried himself at the end of the bench and kept quiet.
Likewise, it would not be easy to learn his intention of refusing to enter the game.
Yet no matter how you look at the situation, it would be hard to get sympathy for the four-time First-Team All-Pro.
Antonio Brown needed:
8 more catches to unlock a $333,333 bonus.
He also needed 55 receiving yards to unlock another $333,333 bonus.
He also needed just 1 receiving TD to unlock another $333,333 bonus.
This was a costly outburst.
— Spotrac (@spotrac) January 2, 2022
Even Tom Brady, the man who campaigned for his signing, expressed that their affection for him remains even if his future won’t be with the Buccaneers anymore.
That is if he still has a future in the league.
No one will take a gamble on him after his latest action, not to mention that he has had injury concerns.
Faking his vaccination status is an unforgivable offense as well.
The Buccaneers Take Part Of The Blame
They wish to have Chris Godwin back, but he’s still on injured reserve.
While it’s hard to bet against Brady, especially during the postseason, Tampa Bay will have a hard time defending their title with this receiving corps.
The playoffs are a different beast, and stronger teams might not allow a comeback like the Jets did.
Mike Tomlin tolerating Antonio Brown for nine seasons is one of the great coaching achievements in NFL history.
— Michael David Smith (@MichaelDavSmith) January 2, 2022
Brown could have helped them, but his departure from the Buccaneers was inevitable because the team ignored every opportunity to teach him a lesson.
They enabled him because of his on-field talent.
There have been several instances wherein they could have cut the connection with him.
Assault charges and cases of violence against women came, but they kept Brown on the team.
The fake vaccination card was not enough to keep him away.
Therefore, he became his old troubled self because the Buccaneers allowed him to act without accountability.
With their partnership finally ending, Brown might not suit up for an NFL team again.
Aside from his age, another team giving up on him makes him too much of a risk.