Antonio Brown’s exit from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season is still one of the most “wait, did that really happen?” in recent NFL memories. But yes Brown did, in fact, take his jersey and hop off of MetLife Field mid-game before saying Bruce Arians was the catalyst that led to the sudden departure.
“The trigger was someone telling me that I’m not allowed to feel pain,” Brown explained in January. “I acknowledge my past. But my past does not make me a second-class citizen. My past does not forfeit my right to be heard when I am in pain.”
It appears the drama is continuing, even after Brown and Arians are both out of the league. Arians raised some eyebrows Sunday in a brawl between the Buccaneers and Saints the former Tampa Bay coach was on the sideline for. Arians looked like he was involved in the game throughout, with some speculating he sent Evans onto the field to instigate the fight.
Whether or not that’s true, the NFL appears to have taken issue with Arians’ presence Sunday. The league reportedly sent Arians a warning letter for his actions on Sunday, which Pro Football Talk said Arians will “comply” with.
This is where Brown decided to interject.
After quote tweeting the initial PFT tweet, Brown then pinned a tweet on his feed reiterating the tweet word for word, almost making it appear as if he himself was reporting it.
Brown appears to be treating this report as some sort of vindication.
The Arians situation certainly creates a strange gray area for the league. Arians and Bucs GM Jason Licht were reportedly on the sidelines because the Saints didn’t give the Buccaneers a booth for their non-field personnel, according to Greg Auman.
The league will likely be monitoring Arians very closely for the remainder of the season. It’s not ideal to have a non-coach acting as one after retiring the previous year. Although Arians is no longer personnel, the league undoubtedly won’t stand for an ex-coach causing chaos moving forward.