Antonio Brown is living the American dream.
After all, who can get away with narcissism by forcing his way out of a team and go to a better situation? Who wouldn’t want that?
After Brown pulled a stunt that no one dreamed of doing by forcing the Oakland Raiders to release him and signing with the New England Patriots to a one-year, $15 million deal with an option next year worth $20 million.
So much for him being jobless. So much for future Hall of Fame coach Bill Belichick not wasting his time in that child. So much for integrity. The Raiders showed Brown, didn’t they? In a way, it makes sense that the Patriots and Brown are made for each other since they are both hard to root for.
In the end, Brown and the Patriots came out winners and the NFL and fans came out as losers. Life is not fair indeed.
Some joked about that possibility of the Patriots signing Brown on Saturday, and some were serious about it. Shame on me for actually believing the Patriots and Belichick would not have any interest in the most petulant diva in NFL history. Yes, Belichick has no trouble hiring troublemakers over the years, and he hired a serial killer in the late Aaron Hernandez, but I figured he would not take on a guy who hates football.
Lesson learned from me about expecting the unexpected from Belichick.
Make no mistake. Belichick signed this nutcase for a chance to stick it to the NFL and its teams along with wanting to go for a 16-0 record with a Super Bowl championship after the Giants denied them of perfection in Super Bowl XLI.
Brown received credit for being smart in plotting his Raiders exit and signing with the defending Super Bowl champions, and that’s why the whole situation stinks despite the criticism he received for manipulating his way to New England.
The disgraced wide receiver caused trouble the minute training camp started. It began with him arriving to training camp on a hot air balloon. Then, he left the Raiders to see a foot specialist following a cryotherapy accident, which his foot suffered frostbite. It got worse when he complained about the NFL not letting him wear the same helmet he used in his illustrious career to the point he filed a grievance. By then, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock had his fill, and he encouraged this loser to be all in or all out.
Things came to a head last week when Mayock had the gall to fine Brown for missing mandatory team activities. Of course, Brown reacted by posting the letter about his fine on Instagram and complained about his own team hating him. He did not stop there. He apparently yelled at his boss and reportedly called him a “cracker” according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
The nonsense continued when Brown released a heart-to-heart conversation with Raiders head coach Jon Gruden for a social media commercial. If that was not enough, he posted an Instagram post wanting out, which was the same day the Patriots signed him.
Such antics would make Terrell Owens and Odell Beckham Jr. wince at that behavior.
Brown not only got his way by leaving the Raiders, but he got rewarded for his actions with the Patriots signing him. So much for what could Brown do for Raiders?
It’s enough to make one throw up and cry. Why do the bad guys win in sports?
Don’t mistake this as a sympathy for the Raiders. They should have known what they got themselves into when they acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers. They knew all about his antics. They were not well-equipped to handle him.
Ridiculously, Gruden stood by Brown despite behaving like a narcissist with the idea his receiver would perform on gameday as a tradeoff. He figured if he managed him, it would have been worth it. Not only he did not get to see his player play a regular season game for the Raiders, but he couldn’t get to see him play a preseason game for them. Even the Steelers received performances out of him before he got tired of them.
One would think the least Brown could do is at least play after Gruden did all he could to placate him. It would be expected out of a decent person, even if he did not like his working conditions. This is why this whole deal stinks.
Brown never wanted to be a Raider in the first place. He wanted to play for the Patriots, and they expressed an interest in acquiring him. They offered trade picks to the Steelers, but they were rejected. Brown caught wind of it, and he decided he would orchestrate his departure until he got his way.
It’s hard to respect any player who would orchestrate his departure while under contract. Is it any wonder where there will always be a disconnect with a millionaire player and fans?
The Patriots knew what was going on. It can’t be a coincidence they were quick to arrange a deal with him hours later. They planned this all along, and it couldn’t be surprising through back channels that Brown and Patriots worked on an agreement weeks ago despite him playing for another team.
So not only the Patriots gave up anything for Brown like the Raiders did, but they also got him cheap. Once again, they outsmart everyone. This just hurts.
Don’t get your hopes up about Brown acting up with the Patriots. But if you want to find some hope, it could be that he may not be healthy enough to play or be productive.
Either that or hope he could be convicted of rape in an alleged lawsuit by his trainer, though such ruling like that takes time based on the long process. And, no the NFL can’t suspend him without any proof.
Brown will play this season no matter what. He will get paid well. He could even be a Super Bowl champion.
If there is a such thing as karma, it would be someone maiming him to a season-ending injury.