Tampa Bay terminated the wide receiver’s contract after leaving the team in its game against the Jets and they respond to injury allegations
Four days after wide receiver Antonio Brown removed his helmet and walked off the field during the game against the New York Jets, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers terminated his contract, effective immediately, the team announced Thursday.
“Although Antonio received treatment on his ankle and was placed on the injury report the week before the last game on Sunday, he received medical clearance to play from our medical team before the start of the game and at no time during the game did he indicate to our medical staff who couldn’t play.
“We have tried, on multiple occasions throughout this week, to schedule an evaluation by an external orthopedist, however, Antonio has not complied. Maintaining the health and well-being of our players is of great importance to our organization.”
Brown and his attorney Sean Burstyn said Wednesday that he told the Buccaneers he was badly hurt to continue playing with an injured ankle, while head coach Bruce Arians denied knowledge of the nature of his actions, nor did he say Brown communicated. with him or the medical body that his ankle was bothering him.
A Buccaneers official, however, told ESPN that Brown was agitated at halftime of Sunday’s game against the Jets about not getting the balls his way that he was expecting and that he had to reassure him.
Brown’s attorney said the catcher’s ankle injury, and not the balls in his direction, were the source of Brown’s frustration.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht told ESPN On Thursday, Brown and his agent applied last week to guarantee the remaining $ 2 million in incentives from his contract for this season and the team rejected the request.
In a statement issued Wednesday, Brown said he was forced to play with an injured ankle and will require surgery, which is why he exited Sunday’s game so abruptly in the third quarter.
An NFL spokesperson told ESPN this Thursday that Brown would not be subject to a penalty from the league for his actions during Sunday’s game.
Annoyed on the bench, Brown, who had been on the field for 26 plays, stripped off his jersey, gear, jersey and threw his gloves into the stands. He then ran down the end zone while both teams were on the field and waved to the fans as he made his way to the locker room.
He accused the Buccaneers of wrongly describing his actions on the field as a “mental problem” rather than a refusal to play because of pain.
Licht said Brown didn’t tell anyone in the Bucs’ medical staff Sunday that his ankle was bothering him before or during the game.
Licht said the Buccaneers made “reasonable arrangements” to close this matter earlier in the week if Brown did indeed have a game injury and the wide receiver refused to cooperate.
Brown said Wednesday that he underwent an MRI on Monday, revealing broken bone fragments, a torn bone ligament and loss of cartilage. He also said the Bucs tried to send him to a “junior physician,” rather than the ones he sought in New York City, including Dr. Martin O’Malley at the Hospital for Special Surgery, where he had scheduled the operation. He claims the Bucs gave him “a few hours notice to report” and “ordered him under penalty of punishment.”