Raiders have limited options with Antonio Brown

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Regardless of how things got to where they are regarding the Antonio Brown helmet issue (we’ll go through the timeline on Monday’s PFT Live and then I’ll write something up that points out every key development of the past week), the Raiders have drawn their line in the sand: Brown, as G.M. Mike Mayock said Monday, needs to be all in or all out.

So what happens if he refuses to be all in?

The Raiders could cut Brown, but they’d owe him more than $30 million over the next two years, offset by whatever else he’d earn with a different team. As mentioned when the issue first surfaced, at a time when Brown was still away from the team, the Raiders’ nuclear option consists of sending a five-day letter to Brown. If he doesn’t come back within five days, they can place him on the reserve/left squad list and shut him down for the year. At that point, he wouldn’t be able to play for the Raiders or for anyone else, and the Raiders wouldn’t have to pay him.

And if he shows up and misbehaves, the Raiders would have the same options under the labor deal that would be available for any other players who break the rules: Fines and suspensions, with the ultimate ability (after properly documenting the situation and giving him all appropriate warnings) to suspend him four games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, which would also wipe out his guaranteed money for 2020.

The question is whether they want to deal with that while otherwise trying to build a team that is competitive in a difficult division with a challenging schedule. They could, in theory, try to trade him, but who would want to step into the shoes of that $30 million liability at a time when Brown is, rightly or wrongly, pissed off at the league and anyone connected to it?

If Brown responds in the desired way to Mayock’s bad-cop quote and if coach Jon Gruden can smooth things over with a good-cop vibe, maybe they can still turn this thing around. For now, that’s what they’re surely hoping to do. But if Brown makes it clear that he’s cornuto contento, the Raiders will have to make a decision that they’d rather not have to make.

For Brown, the obvious right decision is this: Pick a helmet and show up for work. He’s got more than $30 million riding on it. In the end, it comes down to whether he cares about that or not.

50 responses to “Raiders have limited options with Antonio Brown

  1. I really think AB needs a mental health evaluation. Not a joke either, there really seems to be something seriously wrong with him.

  2. If anyone needs to know what a Head Case is all you have to do is follow the trails of this person for a couple of weeks and then you will know exactly what one is!

  3. 5 day letter ASAP enough is enough. Nothing worse than a disruptive employee. Building the team has been compromised cut ties before everything implodes!

  4. The Patriots first game is against the Steelers. The Patriots will be celebrating that they won the championship by unveiling a banner.

    The Steelers will be having an even bigger season long celebration that this clown Antonio Brown is no longer on their team.

  5. This Raider fan says hand the big baby a ‘5 Day Letter’ and let the chips fall where they may. Can’t hold an entire franchise, fan base and team down by such a thing as a newer, safer helmet. So the newer helmets are too heavy? Work out your neck muscles and do what you are paid to do, or go enroll in a good daycare and play with the rest of your class. So sick of this.

  6. Unless the Raiders front office has just been defrosted for the first time since July, the Raiders should already have made this decision and should be prepared for the next steps. Any other scenario would confirm that the Raiders front office is likely holding back this team, not AB.

  7. As a 40+ year Steelers fan I appreciate how tremendously Antonio Brown played over his first nine years in the league. He was definitely a generational if not once-in-a-lifetime player.

    However, it may be best if he just fades from the public view because NO Antonio! You are not going to be loved by the fans when you leave the league if this is how you continue to conduct yourself!

  8. Antonio is miffed.
    Not about helmets.
    He is miffed Thomas and Julio got bigger deals than his.
    Raiders want a happy Brown. Do something about the gap. Helmets will fit and salve will keep the feet in cleats. Don’t, and next month it will be about something else.

    The Raiders got a known quantity.

  9. I have some sympathy for the Raiders but not a lot. Since they knew what he was like with the Steelers, if someone shows you who they are, believe them.

  10. Hope the Raiders were paying attention when Texans owner (I mean governor) Robert McNair warned his fellow owners that they needed to avoid letting “inmates running the prison”

    Talented as Antonio Brown is on the field, he is becoming a much greater distraction than he is worth. Take note Kaepernick.

    Distraction > Talent = No Job

  11. AB is TOTALLY “All in!” …”All in*sane” that is.

    …or was it “All out?” …”All out*of his mind?”.

    Either way, the Raiders have a long season ahead of them.

  12. >>For Brown, the obvious right decision is this: Pick a helmet and show up for work. He’s got more than $30 million riding on it.

    You are assuming AB is rational, which at this point I don’t think is the case.

  13. And they traded the very good Amari Cooper no drama wr for this headcase. What a clusterxxxx Gruden has created. Why would anyone want to get rid of Cooper & Mack? Just awwful.

  14. Why do I see this happening….Raiders will cut ties with AB in a messy divorce then he will sign with the Pats for a league minimum. Imagine Gordon & AB receiving passes from Brady this season? Yikes, let’s hope not.

  15. I actually hope the Raiders end up having to pay him 30M for him never playing a down for them. The only way to get these teeams to stop paying top dollar for cancers is for a team to get so horribly burned, that everyone else takes notice and puts an end to this nonsense. Sorry Raiders, it looks like you are the one going to take the financial fall.

  16. The NFL has singled AB out for special treatment.
    And just in time for Hard Knocks.
    Coincidence?

  17. Well, considering how poorly the upper management has handled our personal, I’m expecting a 6-10 season at best. We got fleeced by the Bears, Cowboys and Steelers!

    #RaiderNationDepression

  18. I get Florio’s argument that AB should get a one year option as others have. However isn’t AB’s contract for two years? So if he gets the waiver / option what happens next year? Silly me. That’s right the circus comes to town once a year. Agree with MM. All in or all out Now. Shut up and play or hit the road. They don’t need the drama queen.

  19. The argument would be a simple one. First, the NFL had never banned the Schutt AiR Advantage until Brown found multiple models that could be recertified for use by NOCSAE because they were less than 10 years old. Once Brown identified, and exploited, the obvious loophole emerging from last Monday’s grievance ruling regarding his more-than-10-years-old helmet, the NFL moved quickly to close the loophole by testing, and failing, the Schutt AiR Advantage generally.

  20. Should have sent that 5day letter already the raiders have been catering to this clown cause there coach and gm are clowns.

  21. From the outside looking in Antonio seems to have some mental health issues. Roth spikes a ball by him he leaves the team, whatever disagreement with whomever and he throws furniture out of his high rise, has to change helmets so he leaves camp.

    Whatever the outcome here is it is symptomatic. Until he gets help and others encourage him to do so, it will get worse. Of course, as long as he can run and catch a football..

  22. I know this keeps getting mentioned, and ppl don’t usually care about diva millionaire mental issues, but he definitely has some.

    I want everyone to go back and watch the hit that Vontez Burfict laid on him a few years ago. AB was running his route full speed, left his feet and stretched out for the pass. Burfict came at full speed and cracked AB right in his helmet and spun him around then his head hits the ground. For real go watch it. To me that’s exactly the moment where he officially lost his noodles.

  23. I don’t even see why the Guy needs a helmet. It’s pretty obvious no further damage could be done!

  24. Hey Raiders, wWhat’d’ya say we give you back your 3rd and 5th round picks and you give us AB back?

    Deal?

    Oh wait, we’re just messin’ with ya. 😉

    Signed,
    Steelers Fans

  25. That they’d eventually have problems was a given but I expected him to at least be motivated for half a season or so as he tried to get back at the Steelers. And let’s all keep in mind that he’s being this much of a problem BEFORE they’ve even started losing games. Can you imagine what this is going to be like when they’re like 3-9 and there’s absolutely nothing to play for?

  26. I think the one thing all of us can agree on is there definitely won’t be a first ballot HOF
    honor for ANTONIO.
    and the longer he pushes this argument, the longer it will take to get him in. just ask TO

  27. Meanwhile, in private, Gruden’s slapping his forehead saying Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot while contemplating how the league has changed in a decade since his absence from coaching.

    Cheers coach!

    Maker’s Mark is a good choice.

  28. And if he shows up and misbehaves, the Raiders would have the same options under the labor deal that would be available for any other players who break the rules: Fines and suspensions, with the ultimate ability (after properly documenting the situation and giving him all appropriate warnings) to suspend him four games without pay for conduct detrimental to the team, which would also wipe out his guaranteed money for 2020.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nonsense. They could do the fines and suspension right now and kill that guarantee. His conduct has been detrimental for a while. Refusal to comply with safety requirements and not go to work is a big deal. If the team can fine and suspend for being late multiple times then they sure as hell can do it for not showing up at all. The drama about checking screens in meetings should have warranted discipline as well.

    I would do the suspension, void the $20M guarantee, send the 5-day letter if he still doesn’t show up and then cut him after the suspension and eat the $10M loss to send a message to the rest of the team.

  29. Based on all of AB’s drama (and that of Bell) I am rooting for the Steelers to win the Superbowl this year. Get rid of cancerous divas and win it all immediately after they are gone would be a great statement that the rest of the league can learn from. These drama queens are NOT worth it no matter how good they are.

  30. Maybe Gruden knowing the AB can’t practice is letting this happen to keep the Hard Knocks people busy with fake news and away from the practices. Bottom line since the Raiders own the rights to AB for the next three years and as stated in the article they have option not to pay him it is up to Drew and AB if he wants to throw away at a minimum $30 and up to $50 and out of the league. He can’t retire and come back next year to a different team.

    Still think he was worth the draft picks as he is one of the best receiver in the game and can change games (Steelers with Juju will be lucky to make 8 and 8 this year, I am thinking they will fight with the Bengals for last place in the division). worth the stretch especially since KC has no defense.

  31. why a team that sucks and is going to go 3-13 trades for him is beyond me.good teams want nothing to do with him

  32. stairwayto7 says:
    August 19, 2019 at 12:26 am
    Steelers say thanks for the 3rd round pick that everyone else laughed at!

    ——–

    Actually people were laughing when delusional Steelers’ fans were claiming the team would not take less than two #1 picks for AB…. Good times

  33. kneedragr says:
    August 19, 2019 at 8:10 am
    I actually hope the Raiders end up having to pay him 30M for him never playing a down for them. The only way to get these teeams to stop paying top dollar for cancers is for a team to get so horribly burned, that everyone else takes notice and puts an end to this nonsense. Sorry Raiders, it looks like you are the one going to take the financial fall.

    The Steelers are currently on the hook for $21 million out of pocket and against the cap. Looks to me like he’s about to burn a couple franchises for $51 million in total. The smart thing for the Raiders to do if he’s not at practice TODAY would be to hire a same day courier to deliver that letter in person and start the clock. It’s the only way they can remotely protect themselves at this point unless I’m missing something. Rosenhaus reportedly stated that Brown would rejoin the team “soon”. That seems foolish to wait even a minute longer at this point. Start the process already. Dang. Pittsburgh didn’t get close to a world championship with him and neither will the Raiders. Salvage your pride and save some money at least. And stick up for your fans as an organization.

  34. In reality, who, with the exception of Brown and his camp, thought the NFL was going to let him find a helmet off of the street, show up and play with it, without ever getting it tested?

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