Antonio Brown

Raiders GM Mike Mayock On Antonio Brown, Jon Gruden, Derek Carr

Antonio Brown‘s time with the Raiders didn’t go as planned, to put it mildly. Oakland traded a couple of picks to acquire him from the Steelers, and he never ended up playing a game in the silver and black. Brown got into a very public spat with Raiders GM Mike Mayock, reportedly threatening to punch him and calling him a “cracker.” Although head coach Jon Gruden has final say on personnel matters, Mayock still caught a lot of flak for his handling of the situation. Now in an interview with Vic Tafur of The Athletic, Mayock reflected on the whole ordeal at length for the first time.

I put that on me,” Mayock said. “My anticipation was that he was coming off a situation in Pittsburgh where he wants to prove everybody wrong and he wants to ride into the Hall of Fame. That he was going to come in with Jon Gruden and Derek Carr and our offense and lead the way. … I really thought we were going to get the best out of Antonio Brown and we didn’t.”

The Raiders ended up cutting Brown on September 7th, a couple of days after the blowup in the locker room. “We weren’t able to get anything out of him. So, at the end of the day, in hindsight, we lost a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick, and I can’t tell you how much pain that causes me,” Mayock continued. Gruden initially welcomed Brown back into the locker room the day after the altercation, which led to some speculation that the coach had taken the player’s side over his GM’s, and that Mayock wasn’t long for the franchise.

Mayock denied there were any issues between him and Gruden, and he didn’t seem concerned about his job security. “Jon and I are good,” Mayock said. “Jon and I talk everything through.” The Raiders are moving to Las Vegas this offseason, and rumors have swirled that they could be in the market for a new quarterback as they make the transition. Mayock spoke positively of Carr, saying “Derek stepped forward in Year 2 under Jon Gruden,” but he also hedged.

As far as what the future holds, I’m gonna tell you the same thing I told you last year. About every position. And that is, my job is to evaluate every position and try and make us better. And if I can, I will, and if I can’t, I won’t. And that holds true at every position.” Spoken like a true GM. Carr was inconsistent once again this year, and it wouldn’t be a shock if the Raiders decide to make a splash at the position.

Mayock also talked about defensive end Clelin Ferrell, who the Raiders surprisingly drafted fourth overall last April. Ferrell got off to a slow start, and Mayock acknowledged as much. “I thought he was solid,” Mayock said. “Early in the year, we probably asked him to do too much. He had never played inside and he was splitting reps inside and outside. He lost weight, he was sick in London … those aren’t excuses, they’re facts.” 

“After London, when he got his weight back up, I thought the season began to build for him. We asked him to play one position and I thought he got better and better each week, and we’re excited about him,” he continued. The former NFL Network analyst also revealed that he thinks the impending move will help attract free agents. “There is definitely a buzz about our move into Las Vegas,” he said. “Could be one of the big stories of free agency.” The Raiders will be one of the most interesting teams to watch in 2020. 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Drew Rosenhaus Parts Ways With Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is without an NFL team and without an agent. On Thursday, agent Drew Rosenhaus “conditionally” dropped the wide receiver as a client (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of 

Rosenhaus informed the NFLPA of his decision in a letter, explaining that he will not represent Brown until he seeks counsel. The agent says he would like to work with Brown, but he will not do so unless he gets help.

Brown, clearly, has bigger fish to fry before he resumes his focus on the NFL. Since being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, Brown has made a number of bizarre posts on social media, ranging from unprofessional to downright scary. Most recently, he broadcasted a profanity-laced argument with police officers and the mother of one of his children.

Rosenhaus has fought Brown’s battles in radio interviews over the past few months, expressing his frustration with the league’s slow-moving investigation that has kept Brown in a holding pattern. At this point, the NFL has no real motivation to hurry things up and it’s unlikely that Roger Goodell wants Brown back on the field as he continues to find off-the-field trouble.

For many years, Brown was the focal point of the Steelers’ passing attack and one of the league’s very best wide receivers. Things deteriorated over time, however, leading him to the Raiders. The late summer drama over Brown’s helmet and his willingness to play now seems like a distant memory. Since then, Brown has faced multiple accusations of sexual assault, been released by the Patriots, and placed in indefinite limbo by a sport that doesn’t know exactly what to do with him.

In spite of all of this, teams expressed interest in signing Brown, pending the outcome of the NFL’s investigation. The Saints worked Brown out just a few weeks ago, then passed on him. Brown, who came to the audition flanked by an entire camera crew, later accused the Saints of working him out as a publicity stunt.

Brown has now lost one of his biggest allies and it’s clear that he’ll have to make wholesale changes to his life before he can get anywhere near the field again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown shared a disturbing video on social media this week that could be yet another barrier in his quest to return to the NFL. In the live broadcast (NSFW, profanity) Brown is seen yelling at the mother of one of his children and police, with kids present.

[RELATED: Interested Teams To Hold Off On Antonio Brown]

The Saints passed on signing Brown after working him out in late December. Later, Brown accused the Saints of auditioning him as a publicity stunt. It’s fair to say the Saints were not wild about the PR backlash of meeting with Brown, who came to the workout with a full camera crew in tow.

Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, continues to insist that teams are interested, though they are waiting for the NFL’s investigation to wrap before signing him. This latest social media outburst probably won’t speed up the process, nor will it garner sympathy from the league office.

Brown has caught 841 passes for 11,253 yards over the course of his ten-year career, which includes seven Pro Bowl appearances. At this rate, he might never add to that stat sheet again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC South Notes: Winston, Brown, Olsen

Buccaneers decision makers have faced one looming question at the quarterback position this season: Is Jameis Winston their franchise quarterback? Jenna Laine of ESPN chronicles the situation and details the organization’s biggest upcoming off-season decisions. Per Laine, members of the Tampa Bay organization have gone back and fourth on their belief in Winston and just a few weeks ago, some brass were “absolutely ready to be done with Winston,” however, the enigmatic quarterback has led the Bucs on a four-game winning streak and has changed some opinions.

While Winston’s play helped make his case, it also limited Tampa’s options at finding a replacement. Top quarterback prospects Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa are unlikely to be attainable for the Bucs in the draft now that they are unlikely to have a top-15 pick. There are a number of potential free agent options at the position, but Winston’s pedigree and relative youth likely means he’ll be back in Tampa.

Here’s some other notes from around the NFC South:

  • Wide receiver Antonio Brown was not alone when he arrived in New Orleans for his workout with the Saints this week, according to Mike Garafolo on Good Morning Football. The four-time all-pro was accompanied by his entourage and a camera crew during the process. Brown has been mired in controversy surrounding his locker room antics in Pittsburgh, his strange decisions with the Raiders, and multiple allegations of sexual and behavioral misconduct that led to his release from the Patriots. No one denies his talent, but it remains unlikely any team will sign him this season.
  • While the future of quarterback Cam Newton will be the biggest offseason story in Carolina, longtime Panthers tight end Greg Olsen will be deciding between retiring or returning next season. According to ESPN’s Field Yates, the former may impact the latter. Newton and Olsen made one of the best quarterback-tight end combinations from 2014-16 and Yates believes Olsen is less likely to walk away from another chance to play with Newton.

Interested Teams To Hold Off On Antonio Brown

The Saints won’t be signing Antonio Brown for now, and it appears there are some other interested teams who are taking a wait and see approach. Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus has said there are three teams interested in his client, with one of them obviously being New Orleans.

Both of the other teams that are interested in the embattled receiver have “made clear they would want to talk further with him after the conclusion of the NFL investigation,” per Jeremy Fowler of (Twitter link). Fowler adds that “anything before that is considered a non-starter.” Considering there’s nothing to suggest the league’s investigation is close to wrapping up, it doesn’t sound like Brown will be signed anytime soon. Were a team to ink Brown before the investigation is over, he would likely be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, rendering him unable to play.

Brown is quite possibly facing a significant suspension from Roger Goodell, and the earliest we’re going to see him on the field is almost certainly 2020 despite the Saints’ surprise workout. All that being said, Fowler’s report does seem to confirm that there are indeed other teams out there with legit interest. How Brown answers the questions that franchises are obviously going to have will go a long way in determining whether one of them gives him another shot.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints To Hold Off On Antonio Brown Signing

The Saints’ Antonio Brown audition doubles as one of the highest-profile occurrences in the history of the in-season workout circuit, but the mercurial superstar does not look to be set for a lengthier New Orleans stay.

Sean Payton said Friday afternoon the Saints do not plan to sign Brown at this point, adding that this morning’s summit was “due diligence.” While any meeting with Brown would exceed such a qualifier, it may be a moot point — at least for the 2019 season.

The NFL plans to place Brown on the commissioner’s exempt list if a team signs him, Ian Rapoport of reports (video link). Payton confirmed (via Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk) that’s the information he’s received from the league. Nevertheless, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, indicated he will continue discussions with the Saints, per Adam Schefter of (on Twitter).

The investigation into the two sexual misconduct allegations against the 31-year-old All-Pro remains ongoing, with Schefter noting no end date is known at this point (Twitter link). A Brown return to the league will likely not happen until 2020, and NFL discipline could further delay his re-emergence.

Bringing Brown in without the intention of signing him soon is an interesting move, especially considering Payton indicated the team was not interested in him when he became available in September. The 14th-year Saints HC said Friday he was not being truthful when he previously claimed the team possessed no interest in the superstar talent.

Midway through last season, the Saints worked out then signed Dez Bryant. Their 2019 receiving corps looks similar to how it did at that point, with role players surrounding new single-season reception record-holder Michael Thomas. Ted Ginn, however, has stayed healthy this season. He remains New Orleans’ top Thomas sidekick. Jared Cook, however, serves as the key difference between this year’s Thomas supporting cast and last season’s, with the tight end’s 661 yards second on the team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown To Work Out For Saints

The Saints are set to audition Antonio Brown. Brown leaked the news via his personal Instagram on Friday and Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link) has confirmed the workout. 

Although Brown is a free agent, it remains to be seen whether the NFL will allow him to actually suit up for a club in 2019. Currently, the star wide receiver is in limbo. The league office started investigating Brown after he was accused of sexual abuse in a lawsuit in September. The NFL has since interviewed Brown, but there’s still no word on his status.

Teams have reportedly been interested in Brown, one of the most dominant offensive players in the modern era. But, up until today, no one has moved to bring the controversial star in for a workout.

If Brown is signed and cleared to play, the Saints would arguably boast the most lethal 1-2 WR combination in the league with Brown lining up opposite of Michael Thomas. Brown would have to get ready and learn the playbook in short order, but he could have an extra week to gear up if the Saints are able to secure a first-round bye. A combination of a Saints win over the Panthers and losses by the Packers or 49ers would give the NFC South champs an automatic pass to the divisional round.

The workout is not believed to be related to Thomas’ hand injury, which has limited him in practice this week, as Mike Triplett of tweets. Even though Thomas is on track to play, the Saints are thin at receiver on the whole. The Saints just placed Krishawn Hogan on IR and, besides Thomas, no Saints WR has more than 29 catches on the season.

At minimum, if Brown is signed, it could help to jumpstart the NFL disciplinary process. Many expect the league office to place Brown on the Commissioner’s Exempt list once he puts pen to paper, keeping him away from the field until his investigation is complete.

Poll: Should The Seahawks Sign Antonio Brown?

The Seahawks were dealt a bad blow this week when Josh Gordon was banned indefinitely by the NFL. Down a major deep threat, could they consider signing Antonio Brown, the game’s most talented and controversial free agent?

Mike Florio of PFT touched on the possibility today, while noting the obvious barriers: Brown is still waiting to find out whether he’ll be hit with a suspension of his own and the PR backlash would be enormous.

The Seahawks did their “due diligence” on Brown before claiming Gordon this year, but it’s not clear what they uncovered in their own investigation. Meanwhile, teams interested in Brown have been in a holding pattern as they await word on the wide receiver’s status from the NFL.

The belief is that if Brown is signed, the league will instantly place him on paid leave. But, if the Seahawks were to sign Brown after Week 17, there would be no real financial risk, since his compensation would be limited to just his playoff share.

With all of that said, the potential upside is enormous. Brown has caught 841 passes for 11,253 yards over the course of his ten-year career, which includes seven Pro Bowl appearances. And, in his last playoff game (January 14, 2018), reeled in seven catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns. That’s the kind of weapon Russell Wilson could use as the Seahawks gear up for their 2019/2020 push.

Cast your vote below (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Roger Goodell On Antonio Brown

The NFL’s investigation into Antonio Brown won’t wrap up anytime soon. This week, commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that no decision is imminent, which means that Brown will remain in football limbo for the foreseeable future.

[RELATED: Patriots Won’t Re-Sign Brown]

They [have] still not completed the investigation,” Goodell said. “They did, our investigators did [meet with Brown], I did not meet with Antonio. But they have more work to do. They’re following up on that. And I’ll get an update when they have more information.”

The league began looking into Brown’s situation shortly after one of his accusers filed a lawsuit against him. Then, in November, they sat down with the wide receiver to get his side of the story, but the process is far from over.

At this time, it seems unlikely that Brown will be cleared to play in the 2019 season. If something changes, he could be a consideration for playoff teams, though the Patriots are not interested in a reunion.

Brown, 31, has caught 841 passes for 11,253 yards over the course of his ten-year career.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Patriots Will Not Re-Sign Antonio Brown

The Patriots could really use another playmaker on offense. Quarterback Tom Brady lashed out at his teammates on the sidelines during last week’s loss to the Texans, and his frustration is understandable. As Mike Reiss of observes, Brady is averaging the fewest yards per attempt (6.72) since the 2002 season, and part of the reason is that his receivers just aren’t getting open. Per NFL Next Gen Stats, Brady has thrown the most tight-window passes over the past three weeks, completing just 30% of them.

Ian Rapoport of (video link) says that Brady has been spending a great deal of time with his wide receivers in the team facility and that he has tried to be more of a leader than he has been in recent seasons, and if the Pats are going to turn things around on offense, the improvement will have to come in-house. Rob Gronkowski is now ineligible to return this year, and as Adam Schefter of writes, the Patriots will not bring back Antonio Brown.

Schefter’s report hardly comes as a surprise, as New England beat writers had the same news in over the past several weeks, and Brown’s recent social media post questioning Patriots owner Robert Kraft‘s desire to win didn’t exactly endear himself to Kraft (who hadn’t shown an inclination to re-sign Brown anyway).

Still, recent reports indicating that Patriots players and coaches would welcome Brown back invited public speculation that a reunion could be in the works, even though the NFL’s investigation into the sexual assault/rape allegations against Brown is still ongoing. Brown could be suspended when the investigation finally does conclude, and given how close we are to the end of the season, it wouldn’t make much sense for any team to sign Brown at this point.

Schefter does says Brown will find work once the league has issued its decision, and he notes that Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, has maintained regular contact with a handful of teams. But that work won’t come with the Patriots, who, as Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports writes, are heading for a major organizational change in 2020. Many expect 2019 to be Brady’s last year in New England, and La Canfora suggests that head coach Bill Belichick and/or high-profile members of his staff could also be on the move.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.