Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown ripped off his much of his uniform and bolted across the field to the locker room midway through the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.
Though it is unclear exactly what led to Brown’s outburst, Buccaneers Radio Network reported that the wide receiver, who at that point had three catches for 26 yards on the day, had just been benched by head coach Bruce Arians.
Arians told press after the game that Brown “is no longer a Buc. That’s the end of the story.” UPDATE: That said, Brown as of Tuesday had yet to be formally released by the team.
As evidenced by fan video, fellow Bucs WR Mike Evans as well as tight end O.J. Howard each tried to calm down Brown/stop him from what he was doing, but to no avail. Instead, Brown pulled off his his jersey and shoulder pads while on the sideline during his team’s third-quarter drive, threw his gloves and shirt into the stands, and then jogged across the end zone, with the game in play, toward the locker room tunnel.
Fox broadcast said game, and shared the videos below:
Another angle of AB running off of the field shirtless during a Bucs offensive drive. pic.twitter.com/YWAUvTxHq1
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 2, 2022
Brown — who in May signed a new, one-year, $3.1 million deal with the Bucs — was suspended for three games in early December (and thus forfeited $183K+ in salary) for violating the NFL-NFLPA COVID-19 protocols. (He was found to have misrepresented his vaccination status by obtaining a fake vaccination card over the summer.)
Brown’s behavior during today’s game not only cost him his spot on the team (with just one regular-season game left, against the Panthers), it may have cost him upwards of a million dollars. As reported by Spotrac (an online hub for pro sports contract info), Brown needed just eight more catches this season to unlock a $333,333 bonus, 55 receiving yards to unlock another $333,333 bonus, and one receiving TD to unlock another $333,333 bonus.
Oh, the Bucs wound up pulling off a 28-24 win today, putting up 11 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.