Will Raiders send Antonio Brown the dreaded “five-day letter”?

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It had seemed that the Raiders were treading lightly with receiver Antonio Brown‘s absence in order to keep him from looking foolish for freezing his feet — a fate possibly even more embarrasing than stepping on a George Foreman grill while it’s cooking your morning bacon. It now seems that the Raiders were tiptoeing around Brown because they simply don’t know how to deal with him.

And, based on the way he exited Pittsburgh, they should not be surprised.

His feet ostensibly have kept him from practicing, but he had passed a physical, exited the non-football injury list, and practiced once. Which means that team doctors believed he was good to go.

It could indeed be, as suggested by Adam Schefter of ESPN, that Brown’s current absence is more about his helmet preference and less about his feet. So if he refuses to show up and practice due to his helmet, what can the Raiders do?

Not much, as a practical matter. And their primary option for forcing him to come back could blow up in their faces.

Brown, if he’s not with the team and refuses to return, could be put on the active/left squad list. By rule, the team’s leverage for getting him to return would be sending a so-called “five-day letter.” If he doesn’t return within five days, the team could then shift Brown to the reserve/left squad list, which would shut him down for the season and shut off any obligation to pay him.

Because the Raiders gave Brown a signing bonus of only $1 million, he wouldn’t have to write a gigantic check back to the team if his failure to show up in response to a five-day latter ends his season. However, he’d lose $14.625 million in fully-guaranteed salary for 2020. Likewise, $14.5 million in full guarantees for 2021 would likely void.

It remains to be seen whether the Raiders will take such an aggressive approach with Brown. However, the detailed tweet stream from Mike Silver of NFL Network regarding the various concerns and complaints about Brown surely came from someone with the Raiders and not from Brown. Given that Raiders G.M. Mike Mayock worked at NFL Network — and in light of his reputation for being a no-nonsense, Belichickian, old-school #footballguy — it’s quite possible that Mayock and/or coach Jon Gruden are close enough to the breaking point to have leaked to one of Mayock’s former colleagues embarrasing details about Brown.

The next question becomes whether Mayock and Gruden decide to go the rest of the way and send a five-day letter.

Either way, Tuesday night’s edition of Hard Knocks could be fascinating. Although Gruden was able to grind most of the Brown stuff onto the cutting room floor for Episode One, this week Gruden may decide to let the world know what they’ve been dealing with.

83 responses to “Will Raiders send Antonio Brown the dreaded “five-day letter”?

  1. Send the letter, don’t cater to every whim regardless of talent. Enough of these overpaid narcissists

  2. Five’day Letter sounds like the name of a #FFXIV Hrothgar with a very big chest.

  3. If AB has always been such a tool I think Tomlin has done fantastic at managing him considering how little we heard from him the first eight years in Pittsburgh, compared to now…

  4. This has exceeded the expectations of drama more than anyone could have hoped.

  5. Brown is a head case to be sure. But no other football exec (and it’s Gruden that is the de facto GM) was foolish enough to trade for Brown. Just like no other owner particularly wanted Gruden as their HC when Son-of-Al threw 10 mil. guaranteed at Gruden to come back to the Raiders.

  6. Remember when the Madden curse only injured players for a season/? Now it drives them insane for the rest of their lives. Pat Mahomes should just enroll in witness protection right now.

  7. Not like there were any warning signs with him or anything. As a fan of a division rival, this is just amazing. The Raiders are the worst run organization in sports. The AFC West is a three-team race for the foreseeable future.

  8. Raiders treading lightly in order to keep Mister Frosty Feet from looking foolish?
    Maybe they should focus more on Gruden and Mayock looking like total idiots…

  9. Send it! Send the letter already! Put him into the corner for his 14.5 mil… Jeez!
    Why would any team deal with this type of distraction?

  10. If I was getting 14.5 million I’d wear a hollowed out coconut if they said I had to….

  11. Can we finally admit that Gruden is the farthest thing from a football genius as can be after all of this??? Please media??? Can you stop the fake news??

  12. I wear a employer dictated uniform every day. for the type of money he is getting i would tape the “Buffalo” accessory to my head and come to work..

  13. This is why I no longer watch the games much or care which teams win anymore. I just follow the stupid drama the athletes of today create. More interesting then the games today, so many of them and the teams indistinguishable.

  14. Forget that, just call him out on his Instagram. Make the whole thing up to the second public. Make the case for the rules, how they are beyond the Raiders’ control, and don’t let him have any public cover while waiting for the next episode to air.

    It would be so juicy if he blocked the Raiders official IG.

  15. Be smart Raiders for once and give him the 5 day letter and hope he doesn’t respond If he is giving you problems now imagine in a year or two what will happen

  16. Send the letter. If he shows and has any kind of attitude. Suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team. Either way he is 1 and done as a Raider. No way we go to Vegas with him.

  17. Wait until AB finds out that the NFL also banned his athletic supporter as well… this is not going to end well.

  18. He is obviously using the helmet grievance as a cover story instead of admitting his feet are in bad shape. This way, in his mind, his absence is due to the NFL and not his botched foot therapy.

  19. Now that would be funny. Meanwhile, people in Pittsburgh are glad to be rid of this clown.

  20. If the Raiders don’t send the letter then they set a dangerous precedent for both AB and other players.
    Mark Davis and Gruden CANNOT allow an employee to toy with the franchise like this and make them look like fools.
    Instead, send the letter, seize whatever signing bonus you can, then hang AB out to dry in 2020.
    NO team will want to sign him with all of his idiotic antics.

  21. There’re only a small handful of utter clowns like AB in the NFL. I dont think AB is the problem….I think the few teams who deal with guys like AB are the problem. The Jets and Browns already made their mistakes with their two nutjobs….maybe the Cowboys will lay down the law with Zeke and begin to put a stop to these few maniacs making the league look bad.

  22. Last year he was Mr. big chest.

    This week he became Bigfoot. Or bigfeet, whatever.

    Now he is Mr. Potato helmet.

    What’s Next? The shoelace problem.

    I can’t keep up with this guy.

  23. What happened to all the “the Steelers mishandled the AB situation”, “the Steelers should have treated him better” comments of 7-8 months ago?

  24. He must not realize if he retires he simply can’t go to another team, the Raiders basically own his rights for the remainder of his contract 3 years. So to throw away about $50 million over a helmet just shows how immature he actually is and makes Ritchie look somewhat normal.

  25. Send the letter and take everything from him nobody is worth this much trouble

  26. At this point, the Raider losses would be a 3rd round pick (sent to the Steelers) and a $1 Million signing bonus.

    Raiders can totally sustain that loss. Might be worth it to acknowledge their mistake and just move on. This is probably a move that they should make for the teams sake. This can get a lot uglier, and appears to be sinking fast.

  27. Isn’t this the same place where the writers (read…”writer”) celebrated him sticking it to the Steelers for new money, old money, labor blah blah blah. Most of the rest of could see he is a diva and not worth the trouble.

  28. switzbeats88 says:
    August 9, 2019 at 6:15 pm

    Detective hick at his absolute best….surprised he didnt make it about Trump or kapernick

    LOL. Glad to see THIS guy gets this website.

  29. I think they’re holding out hope that the NFL won’t let him play with his helmet and he retires so that they can get out of the giant mistake of trading for him and giving him that contract.

  30. I’m thinking AB just doesn’t want to play anymore. The Raiders must feel like when you buy a new car and it’s a lemon. Buyers remorse for the Raiders.

  31. tittmouse says:
    August 9, 2019 at 5:46 pm
    Can this void the steeler trade ?

    What would be the basis for them to void the trade? The Raiders couldn’t wait to get their hands on AB, despite the fact that he acted like a buffoon to force his way out of Pittsburgh. Nobody felt sorry for the Steelers with millions in dead money left sitting on the table. Nobody will feel sorry for the Raiders signing an obvious problem guy.

  32. Those commenting with things like “head case,” “padded cell,” and like, maybe remember this dude (and his peers) has been taking hits to head since he was in his early teens. NFL, teams, coaches, MEDIA, maybe recognize brain damage symptoms and get these guys help as soon as erratic behaviors begin rather than bitching about selfishness and “diva” behavior.

  33. Draft Clemson players for leadership and team mentality.
    Sign a diva.
    Mixed messaging… good luck, Chuckster.
    Team unity says what, Mayock?

  34. Fascinating or more “entertainment” for HBO to make Hard Knocks appealing. If there are no issues on the team, Hard Knocks will have nothing to show. It’s reality TV. If there isn’t controversy the league is viewed as boring.

  35. He froze off all the padding on his feet. They will be tender for a extended period until he can rebuild the callousness. I would also bet he regrets forcing his way out of the Burgh.

  36. I’m self employed. I’ll make about $80-90k this year. I work my behind off. I would have to work for roughly 200 years to make the money he has guaranteed just for next year– that he might walk away from! Crazy to think about.

  37. Each hour that Brown is not with his team is another reason to dismiss him as a great wide receiver. He is a drama cancer and nothing more. Time to play hard ball with this scum.

  38. This is the same bunch that gave the Steelers a 3rd for Martavius Bryant.

    They go after people based on who they hope they are.

    Signed Incognito too …

  39. Send the dreaded return $30 notice, NFI, all the compliments JG gave forth, he understands now, workout warrior, game day performance, yet 24/7 diva. To quote some one else….”Can’t coach with them, can’t win them, won’t do it.”.

  40. As a Steelers fan this is feeling really good. I have no ill will towards the Raiders or their fans either. But it’s starting to feel like Gruden is somewhat of a fool. Pittsburgh appears to have seriously fleeced Oakland in trades for 2 REAL problematic receivers lately. I was fuming that Pittsburgh seemed to bungle the Bell and Brown situations so badly that 2 of the biggest weapons in football were lost for NOTHING in return. Now that some time has passed I feel like things may work out for the best. They turned the 3rd rounder for Bryant into Mason Rudolph and they turned the Brown 3rd rounder into a package for Devin Bush. That could be a real surprise someday and a terrific play. On a side note I truly think AB has some SERIOUS mental problems that are getting scary worse at an alarming rate. Good luck to the Raiders in getting out of this mess with as little damage as possible – for real.

  41. This happened to Tom Brady last year. Tom said that he’s going to year his helmet and he did. The NFL has told Tom the same thing this year and Tom simply stated that he’s wearing his helmet. Period. Don’t make AB look like a fool, it’s a real issue.

  42. He’s so used to Tomlin holding his hand and letting his players walk all over him. Now he’s got a real coach who won’t tolerate his shenanigans.

  43. AB has no business attempting to compare himself to Jerry Rice. The Raiders could cut ties with minimal loss. We need a football team not a circus!!!

  44. I am a Steelers fan here, and I implore the Raiders organization to do what the Steelers organization didn’t do – discipline this jerk!

    Send him the letter, sit his butt down, and suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team.

    Sometimes you just have to take a stand.

  45. “Send in the Clowns” should replace “The Autumn Wind” as this teams’ theme song

  46. LibsAreSlowAndWeak says:
    August 10, 2019 at 9:16 am
    He’s so used to Tomlin holding his hand and letting his players walk all over him. Now he’s got a real coach who won’t tolerate his shenanigans.

    On the contrary, Tomlin had to be an absolute genius to keep AB’s massive ego in check all of these years. Kudos, MT, kudos.

  47. This happened to Tom Brady last year. Tom said that he’s going to year his helmet and he did. The NFL has told Tom the same thing this year and Tom simply stated that he’s wearing his helmet. Period. Don’t make AB look like a fool, it’s a real issue.


    Not really. The banned helmets were given a one year grace period when the policy came out. It wasn’t just Tom Brady. Aaron Rodgers wore an old one too. This year they’ll wear ones that are approved…ones that protect their brains.

    The only issue is that AB is foolish enough to want to wear a helmet that is only 2 out of 5 stars in protection.

  48. Brown has a fair point. The NFL is asking him to wear a helmet that he is obviously uncomfortable with for no real reason. And of course fans side with the billionaires over the workers.

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