Antonio Brown’s departure from the NFL took everyone by surprise. While it seemed like he might have an unforgettable exit, no one could have predicted that Brown would strip off his jersey and shoulder pads, abandoning the field during the game.
Although the perception was that Brown quit, it later became clear that former Bucs coach Bruce Arians actually told him to leave. On January 2, 2022, Brown made his final act in the NFL by running from the Tampa Bay sideline to the locker room. Recently, he appeared on Tyreek Hill’s podcast, It Needed To Be Said, where he engaged in a revealing and extensive discussion about various topics.
During the podcast episode, Brown expressed a number of grievances about his second and final season with the Buccaneers. One of his claims was that the team had tried to get him to come to the facility while he was serving a four-game suspension for using a falsified COVID vaccine card.
It was quite astonishing to hear that the Bucs actually wanted him to show up during a suspension. However, Brown refused, stating that he wasn’t being paid and felt that the Buccaneers were trying to push him away. At that time, he had a torn ankle ligament, which prevented him from fully utilizing his foot and making sudden movements.
Brown also voiced his complaints about Alex Guerrero, Tom Brady’s TB12 guru, in various ways. He stated that Guerrero, who is not a doctor and cannot read MRIs, attempted to diagnose him and motivate him to play.
However, Brown’s ligament was torn, making it impossible for him to perform at his best. This led to internal conflicts between Brown, Guerrero, and the team’s trainer. Despite missing seven consecutive games, Brown played against the Panthers and managed to gain over a hundred yards.
Brown claimed that Brady began calling him a ‘narcissist’ during the 2021 season, leading him to believe that Brady’s intentions had changed from supporting him to controlling him.
After the Panthers game, Brown tried to convince the coaching staff to let him rest before the postseason. However, he was informed that rest was not an option, especially considering the injuries in the receiver position.
Brady then called Brown and encouraged him to play against the Jets, promising to throw him the ball. Brown decided to take this opportunity, especially with the incentives he was aiming for.
Despite being injured, Brown relied on another Toradol shot, which he claimed gave him a surge of ‘Batman energy’ to play through the pain. However, he still felt negativity from the team, Brady, and Guerrero, who did not want to train him after Brown had relied more on the team’s trainers.
In the midst of all this frustration, Brown emphasized that he had paid Guerrero, indirectly compensating Brady as well, a significant amount of $100,000 to work with him during the season.
Brown felt betrayed because these individuals were supposed to have his back and support his best interests. Charging him for their services felt like a betrayal, especially when the team had already paid Guerrero.
Brown’s frustration reached its pinnacle during the Jets game. He was hurt, concerned about worsening his injury, not receiving the expected passes from Brady, and feeling neglected by Guerrero.
Distraught by the situation, Brown finally exploded, declaring, ‘Fuck all you motherfuckers, I’m out of here.’ It was a dramatic departure that showcased his frustration and the sense of being mistreated.
However, one aspect I must mention before concluding is that the podcast episode description claimed Brown would discuss ‘why Tom Brady really unretired.’
After thoroughly listening to the entire episode, I failed to catch any mention of why Brady made the decision to unretire in early 2022.