The saga that is Antonio Brown’s NFL career took another turn in Week 17 after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver took off his shoulder pads, threw his T-shirt and gloves into the crowd and ran through the end zone into the locker room mid-game.
The bizarre incident came after an alleged altercation between Brown and Bucs head coach Bruce Arians, and has turned into a classic he-said-she-said blame game.
Brown released a statement alleging the Bucs – and Arians specifically – tried to force him into the game after he exited with an ankle injury. Brown believes he was cut on the sideline after refusing to enter the game, and alleges that the team gave him a “sometimes dangerous” painkiller to get him to play and that his ankle now requires surgery.
Brown missed six games earlier this season with that ankle injury but returned in Week 16 and caught 10 passes for 101 yards. He had three grabs for 26 yards in Week 17 before the incident.
Brown has taken to social media in the days since, posting messages of support from rappers Rick Ross and Kodak Black, several memes that seem to cast blame on teammates and coaches, and text messages, allegedly from Arians, confirming his prior knowledge of the injury.
This is an evolving situation that could end up in a legal battle at some point, but Brown was officially released from the team on Thursday afternoon.
sportsbooks have already released Antonio Brown next team odds, giving bettors an opportunity to place a wager on where they think Brown will end up, if anywhere.
Where Will Antonio Brown Play Game 1 Of Next Season?
|Not on an NFL roster||-400|
|Green Bay Packers||+500|
|Kansas City Chiefs||+900|
Odds as of January 6 at [ol-sportsbook-bp:48:Bovada:26:Bodog]
The heavy favorite here is for Brown to not be on an NFL roster to begin next season. Part of that, we suppose, will come down to the health of his ankle and if it truly requires surgery or not.
But all else being equal, we find it hard to believe Brown won’t be on an NFL roster next season if he wants to be.
Despite the drama dating back several years with several teams, Brown is still a quality player when healthy, and in the NFL, talent trumps all.
Best Long-Shot Bet: Jacksonville Jaguars (+2000)
Why not? Though it seems unlikely that a new coach will want to surround Trevor Lawrence with someone as volatile as Brown, there’s no doubt the Jags need help at the wide receiver position and Brown is a Florida native who could be interested in staying in-state.
This may not make sense from an emotional standpoint, but it does from a football standpoint.
Best Bet: Kansas City Chiefs (+900)
Brown has already forced his way off teams run by Mike Tomlin, Bill Belichick and Bruce Arians, among others, so he’s running out of places with veteran coaches who might be willing to add a personality like Brown’s to a locker room.
Andy Reid is one of the few coaches left who could probably stomach it. The Chiefs are a stable organization who have taken on “troubled” players before (Josh Gordon, Tyreek Hill) and Brown fits a need for the team.
It was clear at different times this season that the Chiefs are lacking in weapons outside of Hill and Travis Kelce, and Brown would be a big upgrade on the rest of the team’s receiving corps.
The Ravens are another team that makes some sense from a team/coach angle, but we like the Chiefs here with the most attractive odds.
Will Antonio Brown Be On An NFL Roster In 2022?
Odds as of January 6 at BetOnline Sportsbook
Best Bet: Yes (+200)
This prop from BetOnline Sportsbook gets right to the point with the Brown situation: will he or won’t he play?
While it is certainly possible, and even likely, that the league has had enough of Brown’s antics and he is either washed out of the league or blackballed, we think it is far too early to say he won’t play anywhere next season.
As we’ve mentioned, talent trumps all, and Brown still has talent. Just 11 days before this article was written, Brown was dominant in earning 15 targets against the No. 2-ranked Carolina Panthers pass defense.
It only takes one team to believe his ability matters more than his off-field struggles.
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