Antonio Brown missed practice with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday amid multiple media reports that he will be disciplined, and possibly suspended, by the team after a reported altercation with general manager Mike Mayock earlier this week.
Mayock told reporters at Raiders practice Wednesday that Brown was not in the building and would not be practicing with the team. He said he had no further information on the matter at this time.
A suspension for conduct detrimental to the team could cost the star receiver close to $30 million in guaranteed money and possibly even void his contract and end his tenure with the Raiders without his playing a game for them.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Brown and Mayock “got into it earlier this week, and it got ugly.” The disagreement likely had something to do with Brown posting on Instagram a memo he received from Mayock informing the seven-time Pro Bowl receiver he had been fined nearly $54,000 for two incidents of missing mandatory team activities.
The letter also contained a warning from Mayock that 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.”
On top of the image of the memo, Brown added some words of his own: “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.”
Rapoport described the incident between Brown and Mayock as “a screaming match” during which other players had to separate the two men. Although the spat ended up not getting physical, Rapoport said, Brown threatened to hit Mayock in the face, then punted the ball and said, “Fine me for that.”
Brown was a sixth-round draft pick for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010 but became an NFL superstar during his nine seasons with the team, leading the league in receptions and receiving yards twice and receiving touchdowns and kick return touchdowns once each. But his relationship with the Steelers deteriorated last season and he was traded to the Raiders this winter.
His relationship with his new team hasn’t gotten off to a great start. Brown missed much of training camp 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.
As Brown continued to miss team activities over the latter issue, Mayock issued a public ultimatum to the disgruntled player, telling reporters on Aug. 18, “It’s time for him to be all-in or all-out.” According to the letter Brown posted on Instagram, he was fined $40,000 for missing training camp that day; he was also fined $13,950 for an unexcused absence from practice four days later.