BOSTON (CBS) — The Antonio Brown-Tampa Bay Buccaneers saga is far from over. But the receiver’s tenure with the team came to an end Thursday afternoon.
Four days after a shirtless Brown left the field in the middle of the Buccaneers game against the New York Jets, and just a few hours after he accused head coach Bruce Arians of cutting him over his unwillingness to play hurt, Tampa Bay terminated the contract of the disgruntled wide receiver.READ MORE: Pastrnak's Power-Play Goal Lifts Bruins Over Jets 3-2
The team released the following statement following Brown’s release:
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have terminated the contract of Antonio Brown, effective immediately. While Antonio did receive treatment on his ankle and was listed on the injury report in the week leading up to last Sunday’s game, he was cleared to play by our medical team prior to the start of the game and at no point during the game did he indicate to our medical personal that he could not play. We have attempted, multiple times throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an outside orthopedic specialist, yet Antonio has not complied. Maintaining the health and wellness of our players is of the utmost important of our organization.”
In a lengthy statement Wednesday night, Brown accused Arians of ignoring him regarding his ankle injury. When Brown told his head coach that he could no longer play during Sunday’s game, he said that Arians, “shouted at me, ‘YOU’RE DONE!’ while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn’t play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs.”READ MORE: Las Vegas Raiders Reportedly Preparing To 'Make A Run' At Josh McDaniels
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Thursday that Brown and his agent requested that the $2 million in incentives in Brown’s contract be guaranteed by Tampa Bay, which the Buccaneers declined. Bucs’ sources also told Schefter that during halftime on Sunday, Brown was “agitated about not getting the targets he was expecting during the game and had to be calmed down.”
Arians is set to address the media on Thursday, so the drama surrounding Brown and the Buccaneers won’t be ending anytime soon.MORE NEWS: Trail Blazers Rally Past Celtics 109-105
Over the last season-and-a-half, Brown played in 15 regular season games for the Buccaneers and three postseason games, winning the Super Bowl with the team last season. Tampa Bay was his fourth team since 2018 — along with Pittsburgh, Oakland and New England — and Brown has now exited each of his NFL stops on bad terms.