Like Santa Clause flying in on his sleigh, it’s time for former Tampa Bay Buccaneers reciever Antonio Brown to drop back into our lives demanding some attention.
We hadn’t heard from Brown for a while, which seemed like a good thing. In case we had forgotten about him — which many of us did — he sent a not-so-gentle reminder our way in the form of a pretty wild accusation against the Bucs.
A lot has been made about his very public exit from the team, in which he quit in the middle of the game and ran off the field shirtless at MetLife Stadium back in 2021. Various explanations have been given since, from some saying Brown was mad about not being featured enough to earn his bonuses to others saying he simply had a meltdown. Brown claims he was injured and that Bruce Arian was forcing him to play through it, which was something he was unwilling to do.
The real reason Brown ran off the field that day may never be known, but he continues to stand by his accusation that the Bucs did him dirty and got shady about rushing him back. To be fair to Brown, there have been other accusations from players throughout the years detailing how little teams actually care about player safety, but he has taken his version of the story and continues to twist is around.
Antonio Brown accuses Buccaneers of paying him ‘hush money’
His latest chapter involves alleging the Bucs paid him ‘hush money’ in the form of a settlement. He posted evidence of this on social media, which included what appears to be a legit check from the Bucs as well as stacks of cash. It also is annotated with a vulgar message to the team from Brown.
Not long after the accusation, Bucs insider Rick Stroud cleared the air. As it turns out, the payment was performance-based payout that had been pushed back due to league rules, not a settlement.
There’s no doubt that most Bucs fans — and football fans in general — want Brown to go away, but there doesn’t seem to be a desire to do so by paying him any sort of hush money. The amount on the check lines up with bonuses that were in Brown’s contract while with the Bucs, and if anything goes to show they’re still willing to hold up their end of the bargain even if he wasn’t.
The Bucs are far from a perfect franchise, and no one is going to cape for a billion dollar business, but there aren’t many jobs that will still pay you that kind of money after you walked out. Say what you will about the team, but at least they’re good for that.