Oakland, it's time to admit signing Antonio Brown was a mistake

When the Oakland Raiders traded for wide receiver Antonio Brown it seemed like a match made in heaven. Oakland gets one of the top talents in the NFL at the position, while Brown's wishes are met with a new three-year deal worth upwards of $50 million.

Shortly after the trade and before he could even take the field, Brown found himself in the media's spotlight.

Joining LeBron James on his HBO's The Shop, Brown defended himself against the claim of Steelers' quarterback and former teammate Ben Roethlisberger that it was Brown's fault for an interception which cost Pittsburgh a win late in the season against the Broncos.

In the interview, Brown called out Roethlisberger for thinking "he's an owner" and responded to the reports of him skipping out on the team's Week 17 matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.

“All year, the dude called me out,” Brown said on The Shop. “We lose a game, he’s like, ‘Damn, AB should have run a better route. That’s the type of guy he is. He feels like he’s the owner. Bro, you threw this s—- to the D-Line. How the f—- am I going to run a better route? You need to give me a better ball!”

Brown, later in an interview with ESPN, would expand on these reports, and further defend himself against Roethlisberger stating, "It's all about respect."

Moving further into the offseason and the tidal wave of headlines that is Antonio Brown calmed. He was not in the news, nor was he being talked about on television.

He was invisible...that was until he decided to post private messages between him and former teammate JuJu Smith-Schuster, while he attended USC.

The messages further proved the stigma around Brown as selfish, childish, and petty if one were to use the words of ESPN's Stephen A. Smith.

In the messages, Smith-Schuster asked Brown for advice to improve his game and even praised Brown calling him a "great man on and off the field."

Schuster's praise came in 2015, and it is the least to say, Brown has changed a lot since then, especially when looking at the first few months of his Raiders tenure.

Most fans assumed Brown would be a distraction in Oakland but wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. Without Roethlisberger to blame Brown for the team's faults, problems should die down, right?


The Oakland Raiders were HBO's choice to appear on this edition of Hard Knocks, which takes a deep dive into NFL Training Camp. Episode one came and went with no problems. Before episode two is where Brown's outspoken past came to fruition.

According to the NFL, Brown, like the rest of the players, are to change helmet for the upcoming years as part of safety update.

Brown, of course, did not like the decision and with that came a report by ESPN's Adam Schefter stating, "Raider's receiver Antonio Brown has told team officials that, unless he gets to wear his old helmet, he will not play football again."

Brown denied the reports, stating, "I don't know where that came from."

About the time episode two of Hard Knocks aired, other reports had surfaced of Antonio Brown's negligence in a Whole Body Cryotherapy session. To his remorse, Brown admitted to wearing the wrong socks, which led to the injury and missed practice time.

Later that week, Brown put out a request on Twitter for anyone with a "Schutt Air Advantage Adult Large Helmet that was manufactured in 2010 or after," to contact him. In return for the helmet, Brown offered a signed Raiders practice helmet.

The new helmet Brown found was eventually turned down by the NFL, according to Pro Football Talk.

Following the NFL's ruling Brown, like he usually does, took to Twitter to air out his frustrations.

Following Pro Football Talk's NSFW tweet of "'NFL' apparently stands for "No F- -king Loophole," Brown responded with an NSFW tweet of his own.

The tweet is hinting at an underlying racial tension between Brown and the NFL and while the 31-year old receiver did not comment further, the last sentence, "Super Prejudice unbelievable," tends to hint at Brown's victim mentality throughout the on-going helmet-search process.

To put Brown's statements into context, New England Patriots' quarterback Tom Brady is going through the same trouble of adjusting to the new league-wide helmet regulations, but Brady's response is vastly different.

In an interview on The Greg Hill Show, Brady pointed out the struggles using a new helmet but understand he must follow the rules.

"I've been experimenting with a couple different ones, and I don't really love the one I'm in, but I don't really have a choice. So I'm trying to do the best I can to work with it."
Antonio Brown with Arizona Cardinals 1st Overall quarterback Kyler Murray (via Yahoo Sports)

Following Thursday's Raiders' preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals, one in which Brown could be seen in full uniform celebrating with his team, the star receiver no-showed practice on Sunday.

His absence caught the eye of the media and General Manager Mike Mayock.

"It's time for him to be all-in or all-out" - Mike Mayock

Scathing words from Mayock has now given Brown an ultimatum-show up and don't come back.

This is not the first time one of Brown's superiors have commented on his absence.

"I think we're all disappointed," Gruden said, per Lindsay Jones of The Athletic. "We want to get the party started."

Gruden throughout this time has remained positive and welcoming to Brown. He even went as far as to say, "We're gonna support him."

Whether the Raiders' front office work things out with Brown are not, he is proving that maybe Roethlisberger was right to call him out a few times in Pittsburgh. Even former Steelers' safety Ryan Clark was quoted telling a coach, "If you pay him, you're going to create a monster," in reference to Brown.

Despite talent that has taken him to seven pro bowls and helped him lead the league with 15 touchdowns last season, Brown does not seem to get it. For someone who likes to play the victim, Antonio Brown has made a fool of himself in his short six month-stint in Oakland thus far.

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