: Antonio Brown’s midgame meltdown in the NFL will likely cost him $1 million
Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers staged an incredible 4th quarter comeback against the New York Jets on Sunday, but the game was overshadowed by the actions of Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
During the third quarter of Sunday’s game, Brown removed his jersey and shoulder pads, jumped around in an end zone, and subsequently left the field of play. Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said after the game that Brown is no longer with the team.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Brown refused several times to enter the game after the Bucs coaching staff asked him to — Brown felt like his ankle was too injured to play, but the coaching staff refutes that Brown was injured.
Brown was later cut by the team, leading to huge financial losses for the former star wide receiver.
According to sports contract site Spotrac, Brown will lose out on about $1 million worth of incentives in his contract that he likely would have achieved if he had played the team’s remaining two games. Brown needed 8 more catches to unlock a $333,333 bonus, 55 receiving yards to unlock a $333,333 bonus and only 1 receiving TD to unlock the last $333,333 bonus.
Additionally, Brown was suspended for three games earlier in the NFL season for violating the league’s COVID-19 protocols. The NFL says Brown “misrepresented” his vaccination status, likely with a fake vaccination card, according to reports — the suspension could end up costing Brown another $669,000 in fines.
In total, Brown will miss out on roughly $1.6 million in total earnings for the 2021 NFL season that he otherwise would have received.
Brown has made $80 million from his NFL contracts and throughout his career engaged in sponsorship deals with several brands, including Nike NKE, -1.20%, Campbell Soup CPB, +0.60% and Pepsi PEP, -0.42%.
Many individuals who have spent time with Brown in recent years including current Bucs coach Bruce Arians and Brown’s former agent Drew Rosenhaus have implored him to seek mental health assistance from a professional. Brown has referenced that he has at certain points gone to therapy, but did not state whether he is suffering from any mental illness, according to ESPN.
Some have speculated that Brown is suffering from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain injury caused by repeated blows to the head that football players are at a higher risk of suffering from, but Brown has publicly refuted those claims.
“I’m perfectly fine,” Brown told ESPN in 2020. “I didn’t take that many big hits. I had like one big hit in 10 years. Anybody who plays this game, they’re going to get hit hard.”