So long Antonio Brown, Oakland hardly knew you.
The Oakland Raiders released Brown, whom they acquired in a trade with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier in the offseason, just two days before their season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday evening, meaning he'll never play a game in silver and black. The decision had nothing to do with Brown's performance on the field — he is, after all, one of the most talented receivers in the league today and perhaps of all time. But locker room troubles have plagued Brown over the last couple of seasons.
A somewhat public feud with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger last season led to Brown requesting a trade from Pittsburgh, who obliged. The trade felt like a steal for the Raiders at the time, but the change of scenery apparently didn't do the trick for Brown. Trouble began when he threatened to retire if the NFL didn't let him wear his old helmet, which was banned for the new season. Brown did not partake in practice while he filed grievances over his helmet. He was later fined by the Raiders for missing practice, which almost led to a physical altercation between Brown and Oakland's general manager Mike Mayock.
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Brown reportedly apologized to his teammates following the incident and appeared ready to suit up for Monday night's game, but then quickly asked for his release when Oakland voided the guaranteed $29.125 million in his contract. Brown would have been playing on a week-to-week basis if he remained with the Raiders.
The All-Pro wideout is now a free agent and while nearly every team would love to have a player of his caliber on their roster, it's hard to imagine that most franchises are chomping at the bit to bring him into the fold considering how things ended in both Pittsburgh and Oakland. Read more at ESPN.
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