Antonio Brown requested a release from the Raiders on Saturday morning. Here's a look at his drama-filled summer.
Antonio Brown was released from the Raiders on Saturday after requesting to be let go in an Instagram post that morning. Brown's release came after Oakland slapped the 31-year-old wide receiver with over $215,000 in fines–which came in addition to fines issued earlier this week–and voided the nearly $30 million in guaranteed money in his contract.
The request came after a summer full of drama between Brown and his new team which saw everything from helmet grievances to on-field arguments with Raiders' general manager Mike Mayock over fines for missed practices. The Brown drama came to its conclusion on Saturday night as the four-time All-Pro signed with the Patriots.
Here's an exact timeline of the events which led to Brown's request.
March 10: The Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders in exchange for third and fifth-round picks in the 2019 NFL draft.
August 7: Brown suffers extreme frostbite on his feet due to a cryotherapy chamber and is unable to practice with the team.
Into August: Brown held out of Raiders' training camp for much of August in protest of the NFL's helmet policy. His Schutt Air Advantage was not re-certified by the NFL in 2018, which forced the four-time All-Pro to find a new helmet but it was reported that Brown would not play football if he was not allowed to continue wearing his old helmet. He then filed a grievance with the NFL and the process was filled with drama, as Brown even threatened to retire at one point due to the helmet issue.
August 12: The former Steelers' star briefly returned to Raiders' practice with after missing nearly two weeks, but his presence didn't last long.
August 18: Raiders general manager Mike Mayock publicly called for Brown to show up for work and issued a statement after Brown missed practice. Mayock said, "So from our perspective, it's time for him to be all in or all out."
August 20: Brown was given a one-year grace period to phase out the helmet he had been wearing his entire career after his first helmet grievance. He eventually returned to practice with an approved helmet on August 20 but then filed a second grievance regarding the grace period.
August 25: Brown lost his second helmet grievance in late August.
September 4: Brown settles on a helmet for the season, choosing the 'Xenith Shadow' and presumably putting the helmet saga to rest for the reason. The four-time All-Pro then posts a photo of his fines for missed practices on Instagram, which totaled nearly $54,000, and a notice from the team. The notice says that Brown was fined $13,950 for missing Oakland's walk-through on Aug. 22 and he was also previously fined $40,000 for missing training camp on Aug. 18.
Brown then approached Mayock at practice on Wednesday about the fines and reportedly called Mayock a "cracker" and unloaded several "cuss words" during the spat, allegations the wide receiver denied after the fact, saying the spat was "blown out of proportion."
The incident reportedly never got physical, although several players, including linebacker Vontaze Burfict, tried to pull Brown away and calm him down. The confrontation led to the Raiders reportedly planning to suspend Brown, which did not ultimately happen.
September 6: Brown returned to practice on Friday and head coach Jon Gruden said the "plan" was for him to play in Oakland's season opener vs. the Broncos on Monday Night Football. Gruden addressed reporters on Friday and said that he was happy to see Brown back after he missed Thursday's practice.
"Antonio's back today. We're really excited about that and ready to move on," Gruden said. "He's had a lot of time obviously to think about things and we're happy to have him back."
September 7: Brown asks for release from Raiders Saturday morning in an Instagram post after the team fined Brown $215,073.53 on Friday night for conduct detrimental to the team (from the incident which occurred on Sept. 4) and voided the $29.125 million worth of guaranteed money in his contract. The Raiders released Brown within hours of his post.
September 7: Brown signs with the Patriots following his release from Oakland. He will earn $15 million over the course of his one-year deal.