Antonio Brown claims Tampa Bay Bucs ownership offered him $200,000 to “go to the crazy house” following his abrupt departure from the Jan.2 game against the Jets.
During Tuesday night’s episode of HBO’s “Real Sports,” Brown and his lawyer Sean Burstyn denied Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians‘ report that Brown was ordered off the field due to complaints from the receiver that he wasn’t getting the ball enough.
“False,” Brown said. “It’s not worrying about the ball. Tom Brady is my guy. He’s the reason I’m on Tampa Bay, so I know I’m going to get the ball.”
“The offer was, Antonio would basically sit on the sidelines, go on some list — and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment,” Burstyn said. “And we were specifically told, in writing, by the general manager, twice, ‘Don’t spin this any other way.’”
Brown, on the other hand, mentioned an ankle problem he’d been having and said the team was aware of it because they’d been injecting him with Toradol, even before the Jets game.
Brown said he told Arians he couldn’t participate during the game on Jan. 2 because of his ankle injury.
According to Burstyn, Arians’ response was: “Get the [expletive] off the field,” Burstyn alleged Arians said to Brown.
At that moment, Brown shed his pads and abruptly walked down the tunnel and across the end zone.
“What would you do? I was hurt,” he said. “At that point, you know, I don’t want to wear your equipment. I don’t want to be affiliated with the logos and, you know, I — I just took it off and — and got out of there.”
Further into the interview, Brown, and Burstyn alluded to the Buccaneers being sued for slander. Brown refused to give an exact figure when asked, merely noting “a lot of money.”
Brown expressed that he was disappointed in the Buccaneers for questioning his mental health.
“It’s totally disrespect, man,” he said. “Mental health is an important key in the world, so to drag people along and play on people’s mental health, you know, it’s — it’s unfair and unfortunate.”
In the course of his career, Brown has been embroiled in multiple lawsuits after playing for several teams, including for a brief period with the Patriots in 2019. He was recently suspended for three games for fabricating a vaccine card last season.
The great Bryant Gumbel interviews former NFL WR Antonio Brown and his lawyer Sean Burstyn for tonight’s Real Sports on HBO. pic.twitter.com/rTzZ70x2Qd
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 25, 2022