Antonio Brown was apparently frustrated and angry. So he walked away… in the wildest way possible.
From the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. From millions of dollars. And likely from his NFL career.
The often-troubled star player was kicked off the Buccaneers after a bizarre, shirtless exit from the field before Tom Brady coolly led the Bucs on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes for a dramatic 28-24 come-from-behind victory over the New York Jets on Sunday.
But it was Brown and video of his strange exit that stole headlines —
Here's a sideline view of what happened with Antonio Brown. Looks like Mike Evans was trying to calm him down but nothing was going to help. AB took everything off and left.
— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) January 2, 2022
Coach Bruce Arians immediately confirmed after the game Brown was off the team.
“He is no longer a Buc,” Arians said. “All right? That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”
Brown’s mid-game meltdown came late in the third quarter with Tampa Bay trailing 24-10. He appeared animated while talking to wide receiver Mike Evans, who tried to calm his teammate. But Brown stripped off his pads, jersey, gloves, and T-shirt — tossing the gloves and T-shirt into the stands — and then walked bare-chested down the sideline and into the end zone in the middle of the game.
He then waved to fans as jogged through the end zone and into the tunnel at MetLife Stadium.
It appeared to be a show of frustration by Brown, who had three catches for 26 yards.
“I’m not talking about it,” Arians said. “He’s not part of the Bucs.”
Brown was suspended last month for three games for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols after being caught with a faked vaccine card… despite actually being vaccinated.
He has a long history of dangerous personal conduct issues and bizarre behavior.
“It’s a difficult situation,” Brady said. “Everybody should do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. We all love him. We care about him deeply. We want to see him be at his best. Unfortunately, it won’t be with our team. … I think everyone should be very compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things that are happening.”
The Associated Press contributed to this article