Antonio Brown and his bizarre on-field antics Sunday afternoon quickly went viral. His stunt cost him his spot on the Tampa Bay Bucs plus any chance he might have with another NFL team.
The incident also will hit his bank account. That’s because Antonio Brown had been on track to earn three lucrative bonuses, which were based on his on-field production.
The incident happened in Sunday’s game featuring Tampa, the defending Super Bowl champion, and the New York Jets. The game was at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J.
Antonio Brown opted to quit the team, rather than go back into the game. Although teammates attempted to calm him down, Brown took off his jersey and shoulder pads. He flashed a peace sign to the crowd as he threw his shirt and gloves into the stands. That’s something you do after a game, not while a contest still is unfolding.
Video of Antonio Brown leaving the field after taking off his jersey and shirt and throw it into the stands. pic.twitter.com/1hwNYei5Fq— Field Yates (@FieldYates) January 2, 2022
Bonuses Weren’t Automatic, But Antonio Brown Needed One Good Game for a Hefty Check
Tampa coach Bruce Arians said after the game, a 28-24 Bucs victory, that Brown no longer was on the team. The receiver already was in Arians’ doghouse. The stunt proved to be too much.
Antonio Brown signed a one-year deal for $6.25 million with Tampa before the season started. But the contract also had some bonuses totaling about $1 million. Those are now not doable. To earn the bonuses, each totaling $333,000, Brown needed to catch eight more passes for 55 yards. And he needed to catch one more touchdown pass. Through almost three quarters Sunday, Brown caught three passes for 26 yards. He’d been targeted five times.
Spotrac reported the bonus information, describing the decision Antonio Brown made as a “costly outburst.”
Arians told Fox Sports that he told Brown to go back into the game two different times. But Brown refused. He left his team in a lurch, with the underdog Jets owning a 14-point lead. However, Tom Brady was able to lead one of his famous comebacks, throwing a 33-yard TD pass to Cyril Grayson for the win with 21 seconds to go.
Brady, during his post-game press conference, said Antonio Brown was going through some personal issues. Brown returned to the Bucs last week after serving a three-game suspension for turning in a fake Covid vaccination card.
“We all love him,” Brady said of Brown. “We care about him deeply. (And) we want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately it won’t be with our team.”
Brady said Brown still is his friend, but one who needs help.
“I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening,” Brady said.
Antonio Brown began posting photos to Instagram after the game. He included this caption with one of the photos: ”Big MAD (Making A Difference ). Thanks for the opportunity.” Brown also promoted his clothing line with the caption: “Football is what we do, not who we are! “