NFL receiver has a long history of controversy, drama

January 3, 2022
Antonio Brown's NFL career has been peppered with controversies and drama.
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Antonio Brown said last Sunday the media was all about “drama.” 

In that case, pot meet kettle. 

The reality is that his public display Sunday, abs exposed and all, is simply the latest in a long line of alleged criminality (including sexual assault allegations) and dramatics that have plagued his professional football career – which at one point appeared to be on a Hall of Fame trajectory. 

Instead, Brown is “no longer a Buc,” coach Bruce Arians said, as Tampa Bay became the fourth team in less than three years to decide they’d finally had enough of the wide receiver.  

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Here is a recap of how Brown arrived at this point, going back to his time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. 

Dec. 31, 2018: After an apparent disagreement with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, Brown sits out practice ahead of the Steelers’ Week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, with Pittsburgh still in the postseason hunt. Brown skips the previous night’s walkthrough, is not active for the game and leaves at halftime. He won’t appear for in a Steelers uniform again. 

March 10, 2019: After trying to trade him all offseason, the Steelers find a suitor in the then-Oakland Raiders, who send a third and a fifth-round draft selection back to Pittsburgh as compensation. He signs a three-year, $5 million deal with the team. 

July 26, 2019: The Raiders place Brown on the non-football injury list after suffering frostbite burns to his feet during a cryotherapy session

Aug. 12, 2019: Brown has his grievance against the NFL rejected by an arbitrator after reports said he stepped away from Raiders a week prior, partly because he wanted to use his old helmet, which was no longer in accordance with the league’s safety guidelines. 

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Aug. 18, 2019: Raiders general manager Mike Mayock gives impromptu news conference about Brown, saying it’s time for the receiver to be “all in or all out.” 

Sept. 4, 2019: Brown goes on a social media tirade after the Raiders fine him for repeated, unexcused absences. He is extremely critical of Mayock and verbally assaults him, but returns to the team two days later

Sept. 7, 2019: The Raiders decide to cut Brown, who asked for his release, and he celebrates his “freedom” by sprinting outdoors and posting the video on his Instagram account. News of him signing a New England Patriots sign him to a one-year, $15 million deal breaks later that day. 

Sept. 10, 2019:Britney Taylor, Brown’s former trainer, alleges in a federal civil lawsuit filed in Florida that Brown sexually assaulted her in multiple instances in 2017 and raped her in 2018. 

Sept. 16, 2019: Sports Illustrated publishes a story detailing a second incident of sexual assault and lays out Brown’s extended history of not paying money to those he owes for a variety of services. 

Sept. 18, 2019: SI reports that Brown sent threatening messages to one of the women who accused him of misconduct in the earlier story. 

Sept. 19, 2019: The Patriots cut Brown. As a free agent, the league does not place him on the Commissioner’s exempt list. 

Jan. 22, 2020: Brown is charged with a felony charge of burglary and battery following an incident with a moving truck driver in Hollywood, Florida. 

June 12, 2020: Brown pleads no contest to the charges and receives two years of probation. He’s also ordered to: undergo a psychological evaluation and follow-up treatment, attend an anger management course, perform 100 hours of community service and follow a stay-away order from the truck driver and the moving company owner.

July 31, 2020: The NFL suspends Brown eight games for multiple violations of the league’s conduct policy. 

Oct. 27, 2020: The Buccaneers announce the signing of Brown to a one-year deal; he debuts in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints, and helps the Buccaneers win Super Bowl 55 in February.  

Nov. 18, 2020: The Hollywood Police Department had probable cause to charge Brown with criminal mischief (a misdemeanor), the Miami Herald reported, after he allegedly destroyed a surveillance camera and threw a bike at a security-guard shack inside his gated residential community. No charges were filed, but the NFL conducted a review of the incident, which took place before he signed with Tampa Bay. 

April 28, 2021: Brown re-signs with Tampa Bay on a one-year contract worth $3.1 million, with incentives built in. The deal becomes official on May 25. 

Dec. 2, 2021: Brown receives three-game suspension for misrepresenting his vaccination status to the league and Players’ Association. The Tampa Bay Times reported he’d obtained a fake vaccination card. 

Jan. 2, 2022: Brown has a dispute with teammates and coaches on the sideline during the third quarter against the New York Jets. He removes his helmet, uniform, pads and undershirt – throwing the undershirt and gloves into the stands – before skipping off the field. 

Follow Chris Bumbaca on Twitter @BOOMbaca.

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Life is like a running cycle right! I am a news editor at TIMES. Collecting News is my passion. Because my visitors have the right to know the truth and perfectly.

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