It is not clear if Antonio Brown is being suspended for Week 1 or if the Raiders will just make him inactive for the game against the Broncos on Monday night, but Brown will likely stay away from the team during this time, NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports.
Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus appeared on NFL Network and said, "Not a lot is clear yet, other than the Raiders said AB should stay home [Thursday]," according to Rapoport. Rosenhaus also said, "our goal is to salvage this relationship."
The Raiders are reportedly planning to suspend the wide receiver after he got into a spat with general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Brown took to Instagram stories on Wednesday to post a photo of his fines from the team that total nearly $54,000. The notice stated that Brown was fined $13,950 for missing Oakland's walk-through on Aug. 22. He was also previously fined $40,000 for missing training camp on Aug. 18.
According to Schefter, the letter was from Mayock and it led to the exchange. On Aug. 18—the day of one of the fines—Mayock publicly called out Brown to show up to work and issued a statement after the wide receiver missed practice. At the time, Mayock said, "It's time for him to be all in or all out."
The Athletic's Vic Tafur reported Brown was unhappy about being fined and had an exchange with Mayock on Wednesday, where he was held back by a couple of teammates. According to Tafur, one of the players holding Brown back was Vontaze Burfict. Rapoport added that the tiff between Brown and Mayock reportedly did not get physical but "after a screaming match, Brown told Mayock that he would hit him in the face and then punted the ball…and said, 'Fine me for that.'"
Brown has had a tumultuous offseason after he left camp July 30 following "extreme frostbite." While Brown was away from the team, he turned his attention to his helmet. He filed his first helmet grievance against the NFL, which he lost. He then returned to camp after missing nearly two weeks.
But the helmet debacle continued. It was reported Brown would not play football if he was not allowed to continue wearing his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet. He eventually returned to practice with an approved helmet but filed a second grievance, which he then lost.
Brown was expected to play in the season opener after he settled on an approved helmet on Wednesday. He chose the Xenith Shadow helmet for 2019 to replace the Schutt Air Advantage he wore for the first nine years of his career.
According to Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer, if the Raiders suspend Brown for conduct detrimental, which they'd need to prove a track record of misconduct, then the star receiver would default on his guarantees. The full guarantee in Brown's Raiders contract exceeds $30 million.
Schefter reported that some people around the NFL believe the Raiders could suspend Brown "with the idea of trying to void the $30.125 million of guaranteed money in his contract." If the Raiders void the guaranteed money, it would end Brown's time with the team.
Brown was traded to the Raiders from the Steelers in March in exchange for a 2019 third-round draft pick and a fifth-round pick. Brown had sat out Pittsburgh's Week 17 matchup with the Bengals last season and then met with Steelers owner Art Rooney II and reiterated his request to be traded.