Thank goodness the NFL summer is finally over, and Antonio Brown and the Oakland Raiders can finally put all the drama behind them and focus on football.
Um, yeah, maybe not. This is A.B. we’re talking about, after all.
Five days after the Raiders’ final preseason game and five before their regular-season opener, Brown aired some dirty laundry on his Instagram story and indicated he might still have some hard feelings toward his new team, or at least general manager Mike Mayock.
The seven-time Pro Bowl receiver, who forced a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Raiders this winter, posted a letter from Mayock alerting Brown he was being fined nearly $14,000 for missing a team walk-through on Aug. 22. The letter also indicates that Brown had already been fined $40,000 for missing a training camp practice on Aug. 18, which was the same day Mayock issued his very public “all-in or all-out” ultimatum to Brown.
“Please be advised that should you continue to miss mandatory team activities, including practices and games, the Raiders reserve the right to impose additional remedies ... including, but not limited to, additional fines and discipline for engaging in Conduct Detrimental to the Club,” the undated letter states.
Brown missed much of training camp this summer because of frostbitten feet and because he was unhappy that NFL safety regulations now prevent him from wearing the helmet he had worn his entire career.
Brown seems to have sent quite a message to the team by missing a walk-through just four days after being called out by Mayock. But in case that message wasn’t clear enough, he added some words of his own to the image of Mayock’s letter:
“When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie. Everyone got to pay this year SO WE CLEAR.”
Not sure what all of that means, except that the drama apparently is not over. But the “there’s no stopping me now” part might be something positive Raiders fans can take away from it all. And maybe the “everyone got to pay this year” part means he’s going to take his frustrations out on opposing teams.
Brown also makes it clear that he has no beef with Jon Gruden. The next image on Brown’s Instagram story was of the Raiders coach, along with the caption, “This man one of the biggest reasons why I want to work so hard and keep going.”