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Antonio Brown's Saga with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a Reminder that the NFL is a Business

Antonio Brown’s departure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is a lesson opportunity for any high school or college football player that pro football is a business and nothing more.

TAMPA - Think you have what it takes to play in the NFL? Are you thinking about all that truly goes into being a professional football player? The situation unfolding in Tampa is an educational opportunity.

Who do you believe? Was former Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown actually cut on the sidelines like he said, or did he actually walk off in the middle of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New York Jets game on his own?

Further, was he actually told to play when he was not healthy enough to do so? That’s the bigger question. To say that the NFL Player’s Union will be looking into this matter is a major understatement.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter used this quote from Brown and it’s hard to tell who’s telling the truth.

“I didn’t quit, I was cut. I didn’t walk away from my brothers. I was thrown out,” Brown said. “Being fired on the sideline for having a painful injury was hard enough.”

Here’s Brown’s full statement via the Twitter account of ABC Sports Anchor Kyle Burger in Tampa.

For anyone that read even half of Brown’s full statement, there’s reason for concern. There’s long since been distressing situations about NFL teams attempting to force players to play even when they should be on the sidelines because of injury. If Brown and his attorneys and/or the NFL Players Union come after the Buccaneers for this, it could be ugly.

Regardless of how it plays out, the following is still true and the Brown saga is a reminder of how it’s not going away. The NFL is a business. Have players been thrown under the proverbial bus for years when they are no longer healthy?


On the other side of the ledger, NFL teams have people in coaching and management positions that are not going to win games if players are standing on the sidelines. If they do, they will be the ones in the unemployment line. Regardless of how much money the players or members of coaching/management are making, nobody really likes being fired from his or her job, but someone is getting the ax when teams lose games. That’s the nature of the beast.

So, do you believe Brown? Do you believe Tampa Bay Head Coach Bruce Arians?

Whatever side a person believes, just remember that this is a business. In the NFL, people use other people on the other side for their advantage. That’s not going to change.

Considering Brown’s long statement, in fact, there’s a good chance this is a case that’s going to end up all over the news for months and could even turn into a long legal battle. The NFL does not like messy news like the one in Tampa, but it might have little to no choice. Young people need to learn this fast if they have any true aspirations of playing in the NFL.

Football is a business at the NFL level and nothing more. For any young player out there watching Brown’s situation unfold, watch and learn. There’s far more to being an NFL player than catching touchdown passes.

High School and college football players often talk about “I’m going to the NFL!”

While the odds are remarkably low for any given player to reach the NFL, just know that it’s not like the high school or college ranks if making it to the highest level of football is in fact achieved. Knowing what to say, when to say it, who has a camera around and might want to use it, or many other situations can cause a player to be cut and/or fined.

The Brown case has been more publicly discussed because it literally happened in the public eye on the field in New York. There’s no place for anyone in the situation to hide, but that does not mean there’s going to be honesty either.

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Neither side in the Brown saga is ever going to admit fault, but there’s obviously someone or some entity to blame.

A similar situation could easily play out for some current high school player one day. Players are numbers in the NFL; they are disposable to a degree. This is the NFL and it’s always going to be business first. Players and coaches/management are going to gain an advantage anyway possible. Nothing more, nothing less.

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