Troubled NFL Star Antonio Brown Gets $29M Voided over Detrimental Conduct, Now Demands Release: Report [Updated]


Update: The Raiders have released wide receiver Antonio Brown, according to a tweet from the organization.

Original story below:

The latest development in Antonio Brown’s troubled tenure with the Oakland Raiders has the star wide receiver demanding he be released after the team reportedly voided $29 million of the guaranteed money in his contract.

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Some background: Brown got into it Wednesday with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock over a fine letter he’d received from Mayock.

“In the letter, Mayock informed Brown that he was being fined $13,950 for missing a walk-through on Aug. 22, an unexcused absence. The letter also mentions that the team previously had fined Brown $40,000 for missing camp on Aug. 18,” ESPN reported.

Brown was not happy and posted a picture of the letter to Instagram, writing, “When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie. Everyone got to pay this year so we clear.”

The exchange never devolved into an all-out fight, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said, but it got close.

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More details came out Thursday, and ESPN and NBC Sports reported that Brown, who is black, had called Mayock, who is white, a “cracker.”

Brown denied this. However, he apologized for his role in the incident, and coach Jon Gruden said he’d play Monday night against the Denver Broncos.

But the uneasy ceasefire wouldn’t last.

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On Friday night, Brown posted a nearly two-minute-long video to YouTube titled, “THIS IS MY LIFE. AIN’T NO MORE GAMES.” The video largely revolves around a phone call between Brown and Gruden that the wide receiver had apparently recorded.

“What the hell is going on, man?” Gruden asks.

“Just a villain all over the news, man,” Brown replies.

Gruden calls Brown “misunderstood,” then asks if he actually wants to be a Raider.

“Man, I’ve been trying to be a Raider since day one. I’ve been f—ing working my ass off harder than anyone. I don’t know why it’s a question of me being a Raider. It’s like do you guys want me to be a Raider?” Brown says.

Gruden responded by asking Brown to “please stop this s— and just play football. … You’re a great football player. Just play football.”

Brown wasn’t having it.

“I’m more than just a football player, man,” he said. “I’m a real person. I’m a real person. It ain’t about the football, I know I can do that. I show you guys that on the daily. This is my life. Ain’t no more games.”

ESPN reported it wasn’t clear when this phone call took place, though a source said Gruden thought it was “awesome.”

WARNING: The following video and Instagram post contain profane language that some readers may find offensive. Viewer discretion is advised.

Brown wasn’t done. In a Saturday morning Instagram post, he asked the Raiders to release him.

“You are gonna p— a lot of people off when you start doing what’s best for you,” Brown said.

“And that’s fine! I have worked my whole life to prove that the system is blind to see talent like mines. Now that everyone sees it, they want me to conform to that same system that has failed me all those years. ‘I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong.’ Release me @raiders.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter provided some insight into why Brown is now asking to be released. On Friday night, Schefter said, the Raiders fined Brown $215,073.53 for “conduct detrimental to the team” on Wednesday.

In so doing, the team reportedly voided the $29 million of guaranteed money in his contract.

Brown seemed to confirm this in an email to ESPN’s Jeff Darlington.

The Raiders “took away my guarantees,” Brown said, adding that there’s “no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week.”

According to Schefter, the Raiders also informed Brown that if they do release him, “he no longer will be entitled to termination pay.”

At this point, it’s hard to see how the fractured relationship between Brown and the Raiders could be repaired.

But anything is possible. Stay tuned!

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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