Monday update: Brown has now given his side of the story, saying that he was too hurt to play, but Arians told him to go in anyway.
Update: Here’s what Arians said about Brown’s actions and what led to the outburst from the receiver, per Jay Glazer.
Just talked to Bruce Arians who said he was trying to get AB to go into game & AB refused. Tried again Brown refused & Arians told him to get out. On if he saw AB take his jersey off.— Jay Glazer (@JayGlazer) January 2, 2022
“Yeah, I did. Never seen anything like it in all my years.” @NFLonFOX
Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians says wide receiver Antonio Brown is “no longer a Buc” after the player ran off the field against the New York Jets in Week 17. Brown took off his uniform and ran off the field after he was reportedly benched during the game.
I asked Bruce Arians what led to the decision to ultimately cut Antonio Brown: "I'm not talking about him. He's no longer part of the Bucs."— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) January 2, 2022
Brown was set to take on a bigger role with Chris Godwin done for the season and it appeared the receiver had turned a corner after his recent suspension due to reportedly submitting a fake vaccination card. However, Arians has decided this was the last straw for Brown as a member of the Buccaneers.
The mercurial wide out threw his jersey and shoulder pads to the sideline bench before running through the end zone while inciting the crowd on the way to the locker room.
Brown last week blamed the media for creating a distraction and saying his past transgressions, including using a fake COVID-19 vaccine card to qualify as a vaccinated player.
I asked Antonio Brown what it meant that Bruce Arians stood in his corner and kept him on the team. "I don’t want to talk about that. You guys is all about drama. This is all about football. We just talk about Carolina or I don’t want to talk to you guys.”— JennaLaineESPN (@JennaLaineESPN) December 26, 2021
For the Bucs, the only wide receiver that has been on the roster every game since Week 1 is Mike Evans, who will now need to become even more of a factor. The Bucs have clinched the NFC South Division, but could finish anywhere between the No. 1 and No. 4 seed depending on Week 18 results.
Brown had 519 yards and four touchdowns going into Week 17. He had three receptions for 26 yards against the Jets prior to removing himself from the action. With Brown gone from the team, look for Tyler Johnson and Scotty Miller to take on bigger secondary roles while Mike Evans becomes the clear No. 1 receiver for Tom Brady.