Could the Antonio Brown era in Oakland reach its conclusion before he ever takes the field for a regular season game? Based on an Instagram post made by the All-Pro wide receiver early on Saturday morning, one that comes in response to the team’s decision to fine him, it seems like things could be headed in that direction.
Ed Werder of ESPN reported on Friday night that Oakland levied a fine against Brown, which did not sit well with him. A little later that evening, Brown released a phone call he had with Jon Gruden on his Instagram account, and on Saturday, Brown posted a picture and wrote in the caption that he wants out of Oakland.
View this post on Instagram
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 #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake
“And that’s fine !” Brown wrote. “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 #NOMore #theyputblindersonahorseforareason #NoMoreFake”
As Adam Schefter of ESPN reported in the aftermath of this, there’s a major financial reason why Brown is reacting this way: The fine that he received voided the nearly $30 million in guaranteed money he was slated to get from the team.
By fining Antonio Brown $215,073.53 last night for conduct detrimental to the team on Sept. 4, the Raiders voided the $29.125 million worth of guaranteed money in his deal, per league sources.
This could help explain why Brown is now asking the Raiders for his release.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) September 7, 2019
As it turns out, that’s the case. Brown emailed ESPN’s Jeff Darlington and said that his gripe is over the guaranteed money the Raiders “took away.”
I just got an email from Antonio Brown. He tells me the team “took away my guarantees.” He added there’s “no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week.” So at this moment, once again, don’t expect AB to play on Monday Night Football.
— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) September 7, 2019
Whether the Raiders honor this request remains to be seen. The team kicks off their season on Monday night against the Denver Broncos, and while Brown had previously been in line to play after the team opted to not suspend him, that no longer appears to be the case.