If you were out of the country or in a trapped in a cave somewhere the past couple days, let me get you up to speed...
(Inhale) Wednesday, Antonio Brown received a letter from Mike Mayock detailing what was his second fine for an unexcused absence from practice. Brown was pissed about that so he posted a pic of the letter on instagram, along with saying his own team was hating on him. A short time after that, he showed up at practice where he saw Mike Mayock on the sideline — as is typically the case — and went over to have words with him. Brown began shouting and had to be pulled away by a couple teammates.
What we knew as of Thursday was that AB threatened to hit Mayock in the face, then punted the ball, adding “Fine me for that!”
New details showed that Brown had also called Mayock a “Cracker” and that it was indeed Brown who initiated the altercation with Mayock unable to diffuse it and ultimately walking away.
Prior to practice on Thursday, reports came out that the Raiders were planning on suspending him. The team wouldn’t say anything official on it and both Jon Gruden and Brown’s agent said similar things that suggested they thought there was still a chance the two sides could make good and avoid a suspension.
It was clear the only positive path forward for Brown was to offer a whole-hearted apology. Friday he did that, according to ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Source: #Raiders WR Antonio Brown just issued “an emotional apology” at a team meeting this morning, just now, “with team captains standing with him.”— ig: josinaanderson (@JosinaAnderson) September 6, 2019
If Brown was ever to avoid a suspension or even play for the Raiders again, an apology was the only first step. You can’t behave like he has and keep a job.
The Raiders have more than enough to suspend him for conduct detrimental to the team. We still don’t know if they will yet. Gruden said Thursday there would be an announcement once they “got to the bottom” of things.
A suspension would mean all of Brown’s $29 million in guarantees would be gone. That would allow the team to cut ties with him free and clear should they choose to do so. For that reason, Mayock’s initial statement was merely that Brown wasn’t at practice. He was allowing for cooler heads to prevail.
Brown needed to get his mind right (at least temporarily) which involved his agent Drew Rosenhaus talking sense into him about the severe financial and career implications of his actions. Clearly he made an impact.
Now the reports are that Brown may not be suspended at all, which is the ultimate goal for both Brown’s camp and the Raiders. He doesn’t want his guaranteed money to fly away as well as perhaps his time with the Raiders before it even began, and they want their most talented player on the field.
Here is a sense of how quickly things are changing in Oakland: Yesterday, #Raiders coach Jon Gruden told people AB was not in their plans for Monday. Now, I hear… there is a real chance he not only does not get suspended but actually plays. Wild times— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2019
He could be headed toward no suspension at all which would, of course, mean Brown would take the field for the Monday Night opener against the Broncos.
Team captains flanking Brown for his apology is a good sign that the rest of the team won’t react adversely to Brown escaping a suspension. Though some kind of punishment should be warranted.