Antonio Brown no longer a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, says head coach Bruce Arians | NFL News

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Antonio Brown removed his shoulder pads and jersey, ran across the end zone and headed to Tampa Bay’s locker room midway through Sunday’s game against the New York Jets; Sky Sports NFL’s Neil Reynolds: “This is going to embarrass (Tom) Brady, Bruce Arians and the entire Bucs organisation”

Last Updated: 03/01/22 11:07am


Watch Antonio Brown leave the field after taking off his jersey and throwing it into the stands

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Watch Antonio Brown leave the field after taking off his jersey and throwing it into the stands

Watch Antonio Brown leave the field after taking off his jersey and throwing it into the stands

Antonio Brown is no longer a Tampa Bay Buccaneer, says head coach Bruce Arians, after the wide receiver left the field during Sunday’s 28-24 win against the New York Jets.

Brown removed his shoulder pads and jersey, ran across the end zone and headed to the team’s locker room midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game at MetLife Stadium. The Buccaneers were trailing 24-10 at the time and were driving downfield on offense.

Asked about Brown in his post-match news conference, Arians said: “He is no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story.”

Antonio Brown 'no longer a Buc', says Bruce Arians

Antonio Brown ‘no longer a Buc’, says Bruce Arians

Reacting to Brown’s dramatic exit, Sky Sports NFL‘s Neil Reynolds said in the studio: “I’ve covered this sport for enough years and never seen anything like that. Incredible.

“Six days ago he [Brown] told the media, ‘you guys are all about drama, I’m all about football’, but you might want to flip that round.

“Tom Brady must be furious. He has gone to bat for Brown, he’s had him live in his house. The public nature of this is going to embarrass Brady, Bruce Arians and the entire Bucs organisation.”

Brady said in his post-game interview: “That’s a difficult situation.

“We all love him, we care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best, and unfortunately it won’t be with our team.”

According to the FOX broadcast, Brown “boiled over” about something and could not be convinced to stay with the team on the sideline. Fellow receiver Mike Evans tried to keep Brown from taking off his shoulder pads, but to no avail.

Brown was seen standing in the end zone, making a “peace out” gesture to the crowd, while the teams were playing on the other side of the field.

He had three receptions on five targets for 26 yards at the time he left. Brown has 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven games this season.

Bruce Arians refused to discuss Antonio Brown in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers press conference claiming 'He is no longer a Buc' after victory over the New York Jets

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Bruce Arians refused to discuss Antonio Brown in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers press conference claiming ‘He is no longer a Buc’ after victory over the New York Jets

Bruce Arians refused to discuss Antonio Brown in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers press conference claiming ‘He is no longer a Buc’ after victory over the New York Jets

Around The NFL‘s Marc Sessler said of Brown’s disappearing act mid-game: “It feels appropriate for Antonio Brown to cook up something the like of which we’ve never seen before.

“This is the other side of Antonio Brown, which the Raiders understand very well, the [Pittsburgh] Steelers did towards the end.

“This was always a Tom Brady hire. He was going to keep him under control, keep him focused. But Bruce Arians is different to Brady: he allowed the Antonio Brown experience to carry on, but there are boundaries at some point and this is too overt, happening in the middle of a game.”

The 33-year-old Brown has a trail of off-the-field incidents, distractions and legal trouble dating to the start of his career with the Steelers. Most recently, Brown was suspended for three games by the NFL this season for falsifying a COVID-19 vaccine card.

Brown spent the first half of the 2020 season suspended for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He turned himself into police in Florida in January 2020 due to charges of battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief.

He was released by the New England Patriots after one game in 2019 due to allegations of sexual misconduct and of sending threatening text messages to his accuser. New England had picked up Brown after he was released by the then-Oakland Raiders without playing in a competitive game for the team.

Asked if he still had a future in the NFL, Around the NFL‘s Dan Hanzus said: “He is still a very talented wide receiver, probably a top-20 talent – even at 33 years old.

“But it does get to a point where there is no turning back.

“Would I be surprised if someone signs him? No. But should they? No.”

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