The latest adventures of Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown were sparked by his alleged habit of not paying his bills. He finally has paid the bill that ended up costing him a lot more than the money he owed.
Via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times, Brown and former live-in chef Steven Ruiz reached a settlement of Ruiz’s claim that Brown owed $10,000.
Ruiz told Stroud that the dispute has been “satisfactorily resolved.” Ruiz declined to reveal the terms, which could mean that the settlement agreement includes a confidentiality agreement.
Brown’s motivation for suddenly settling isn’t clear. Obviously, if he’d paid the money when it was originally due, Ruiz wouldn’t have blown the whistle on Brown’s fake vaccination card. It could be that the Buccaneers strongly encouraged Brown to take care of the situation, given the potential for Ruiz to create other havoc with whatever he may know about Brown.
If Brown had done that, no one would ever have known that Brown had a fake card, and the league never would have suspended him. Basically, it would be the same in Tampa as it is for the other 31 teams, where there probably are one or more fake cards but no appetite by the NFL to smoke them out. Especially if there’s any chance that, within one or more teams, members of the coaching staff or the front office may have had a role in securing the fake cards.
I’m not saying that has happened. Absent a full and proper investigation of all vaccination cards submitted by players who secured a vaccination away from team property, no one will ever know whether it happened.
For Brown, it’s fair to wonder, given his history, what will happen next. Given the various injuries in Tampa, quarterback Tom Brady has more incentive than ever to ensure that Brown follows all applicable rules and regulations, both of the team and of society.