The news that the Raiders are “planning to suspend” receiver Antonio Brown doesn’t mean he’s suspended. It means only that they plan to, and plans can change.
It’s entirely possible that the Raiders have leaked their plans in order to give Brown one last chance to get, as G.M. Mike Mayock put it last month, “all in or all out.”
Mayock has been the bad cop to coach Jon Gruden’s good cop, and as we discussed during Thursday’s PFT Live, good cap/bad cop doesn’t always work. Brown quite likely has been confused by the mixed messages from a coach who supports him and a G.M. who chastises him. Given that the Steelers took a good cop/no cop approach to Brown, it’s the first time he’s ever had to deal with any type of accountability.
Before moving forward on Monday night without him, the Raiders apparently are giving Brown one last chance to conform to their expectations before putting him on the sidelines and, more importantly, voiding his guarantees.
More on that in an upcoming post. For now, the point is this: Until he’s actually suspended, Brown possibly won’t be. Whether he is depends largely on how he reacts to the news that it’s coming.