The Oakland Raiders have reportedly reached their limit with Antonio Brown before the All-Pro wide receiver has even set foot on a field.
After several weeks of drama with Brown saying he will only play in his now-unauthorized helmet, the Raiders are ready to give the star receiver an ultimatum, general manager Mike Mayock told reporters on Sunday. As Raiders beat writer Myles Simmons of the Review-Journal reported on Twitter, Mayock told reporters that Brown has still not reported to practice because he is upset over the helmet issue and noted that the team has “exhausted all avenues” to bring him back.
Mayock added that it is now time for Antonio Brown to be “all in or all out.” It’s not exactly clear yet what “all out” could mean for Brown if he continues to stay away from the team amid the helmet drama. It would seem unlikely that the Raiders would part ways with Brown after having just landed him in a trade that cost them a third and a fifth-round pick in the recent NFL draft.
As NJ.com columnist Darryl Slater wrote, the Raiders should have known when trading for Brown that he would likely bring with him the drama that led to his exit from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Brown was a wellspring of drama throughout his time in Pittsburgh, particularly at the end of his tenure there,” Slater noted. “That’s why the Steelers were so eager to ship off one of the league’s most talented receivers.”
The Raiders have already given some hints that they are tiring on Antonio Brown. Earlier in the week, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters that Brown’s recent strange injury — he hurt his foot after failing to wear proper footwear while in a cryogenic therapy chamber session — was not the receiver’s fault and he understood Antonio’s desire to play with his old helmet that is no longer on the approved list, he also understands the league’s position against bending the helmet rules for Brown.
“So we’re in a tough spot,” Gruden said. “And we hope Antonio is back here soon because he’s exciting to be around.”
"NFL" apparently stands for "No F–kin' Loophole" https://t.co/q1Abu5clpC
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 17, 2019
"It's time for him be all-in or all-out."
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 18, 2019
As NFL.com reported. Brown left the team under the idea that he was getting other medical opinions for his frostbitten feet, but four sources with knowledge of his absence said that unhappiness over the helmet issue was the real reason Brown was staying away from training camp.