Antonio Brown sounds off on Tom Brady, Bruce Arians, and CTE in off-the-rails interview
As the war of words between Antonio Brown and the Buccanneers lives on, the former Tampa Bay wide receiver is looking to have the last word.
In a tumultuous week that began with Brown running off the field shirtless at MetLife Stadium, which led to a public spat filled with text message leaks, accidental bank account revelations, and lawyer and team statements, Brown appeared on the “Full Send” podcast on Friday in his first interview since his infamous exit.
What turned into an hour-long, off-the-rails, profanity-laced conversation that Brown referred to as a “Kumbaya”, the free agent discussed everything from the incident itself to CTE to where he thought he should fall in Tampa’s receiver depth chart to Tom Brady, Bruce Arians, Rob Gronkowski, and more.
Sporting News breaks down the wildest moments from interview.
Antonio Brown shares his side of the story
Brown opened up about the criticism he’s faced over the past few days, acknowledging, “I’ve acted irrational and did some things people don’t understand, but that’s part of life. I get a bad tag, I get a bad name. We as humans want to be treated civilized– it’s about integrity and handling people the right way.”
Regarding his departure from the field last Sunday, Brown said he was merely standing up for himself while dealing with an ankle injury.
“I got too sexy for the stadium,” Brown added. “My adrenaline got so high. I got too sexy for my clothes. I gave the fans what they wanted.”
Brown believes he belongs at the top of the depth chart
With Mike Evans and Chris Godwin leading the charge this season for the Bucs, Brown questioned his “prove it” level salary and questioned whether he was one of Brady’s “boys.”
“If Tom Brady’s my boy, then why am I playing for an earnest salary? Gronk’s his boy, what is Gronk making? So why is AB on a prove it deal,” Brown asked.
For context, Gronkowski signed a one year deal with the Bucs last offseason with a base salary of $1.75M and a signing bonus of $6.25M. Brown signed a one-year contract worth up to $6.25M, with $3.1M guaranteed.
Brown then posed the question of who on the Buccaneers was better than him.
Brown played in seven games this season and was targeted 62 times, which is fifth most on the team, though he felt he should’ve taken center stage ahead of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin.
Antonio Brown’s “friendship” with Tom Brady
Brown also took issue with people’s perception of Brady and his talent, saying that Brady is deified and put on a higher pedestal, while the supporting cast gets left behind.
Warning: Tweet contains NSFW language
Brown added that Brady is “not a god” and said Brady and the Bucs called him to help them win a Super Bowl, not the toilet bowl.
It’s important to note that Brady often credits his teammates for his success, as Yahoo! Sports columnist Shalise Manza Young pointed out.
When the “Full Send” podcast hosts attempted to paint Brady as a good guy for allowing Brown to stay at his home, Brown shot them down.
“I got my own money, do you know who I am? I don’t need to stay at no one’s house, I’ve got my own house— I don’t need a pitty party from none of you guys.”
Brown takes aim at CTE
Amid the concerns that Brown may have CTE or be suffering from repeated blows to the head, he brushed that aside as well and said any tears on behalf of Tampa with regards to CTE or his mental health are of the crocodile variety following the death of former longtime Buccaneer Vincent Jackson.
The full interview can be seen here.
Finally, Brown indicated he wants to return to football. “It’s just getting started,” he said.
With his ankle injury, he is all but effectively ruled out this year, indicating he can’t play at 100 percent and would be doing a disservice to the team that signed him.
Will he get a chance next season? Time will tell.
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