Antonio Brown was a household name for the Pittsburg Steelers. He went to seven pro bowls, and led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2014 and 2017. Additionally, he was considered to be the best wide receiver in the NFL for his entire time in Pittsburg. Suffice it to say, he was one of the biggest stars in the NFL.
On March 10th, the Steelers traded him to the Oakland (soon to be Las Vegas) Raiders, for a 3rd round pick and a 5th round pick. They also gave him a large extension, which was worth 50 million dollars.
For a couple of months, fans were led to believe that everything was all right, and until July, that may have been true. In mid-July, AB hurt his foot during cryotherapy. During training camp, he was suffering from “sore feet.”
In August, Antonio Brown was the biggest news of the NFL. Brown, for his entire career, had been using a helmet that the NFL had deemed unsafe. As a result, the NFL had given players (not just Brown) a year to find a new helmet. During the Raider’s training camp, the team had informed him that he had to get a new helmet. On August 12th, the NFL formally declined his request to use his helmet. The next day, he asked twitter to find him a new helmet: “’I’m looking for a Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after. In exchange I will trade a signed practice worn @Raiders helmet.’” He did this because he thought he found a loophole: any helmet that wasn’t explicitly banned from the NFL could be used. Brown had deemed that this issue was something that could change his career, so he delivered an ultimatum: Brown would retire unless he got that helmet.
Brown did end up finding another Schutt Air Advantage helmet, but it ended up failing safety tests. Brown then filed another grievance with the NFL hoping to use the helmet. He did end up failing that, but it appeared that he finally decided to find another helmet. He decided that he would wear a Xenith Shadow Helmet in 2019.
The General Manager of the Raiders, Mike Mayock, had decided to fine AB, for everything that he had done during this offseason. Brown decided to post the letter informing him of the fines on Instagram. In the letter, it showed that they were displeased with his actions this offseason, and that they could potentially void his contract. The disgruntled receiver had accused the GM of hating him due to this letter. On September 5th, Brown got in a very heated altercation with Mayock. As a result, Mayock wanted to suspend Brown.
Antonio Brown, after the media started reporting on this altercation, apologized to the team in a very emotional way. It appeared for a single moment that everything was going to be fine. The coach, Jon Gruden, even said that he was going to play in the first game. However, things quickly decided to go awry after Antonio Brown posted a “wiretapping” of a phone conversation between him and his coach on YouTube. (Just to be clear, there are no legal ramifications from this as Gruden gave him consent to do so). On September 6th, the Raiders had enough of their star receiver, and decided to fine him and void his guaranteed money. The next day, Brown had demanded his release, and they let him go.
Brown was free of the Raiders and the Raiders were free of him. He was free to go anywhere he wanted to. To almost everyone’s surprise, he decided to go the New England Patriots and team up with Tom Brady.
His story isn’t done yet. As soon as he signed with the defending champions, many different sexual lawsuits followed him. As of right now, he has not suspended by the Patriots or the NFL. As a result, he will be allowed to play with the Patriots. In his first game with the team, he had 4 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. It was a crazy offseason for AB and his saga is not even close to being finished.