Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Bruce Arians has ‘no regrets’ about bringing Antonio Brown to Buccaneers despite WR’s bizarre exit

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Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Antonio Brown’s days with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are all but over after the wide receiver walked off on the team in the middle of their Week 17 matchup against the Jets at MetLife Stadium. Head coach Bruce Arians said after the comeback win that Brown was “no longer a Buc,” effectively dismissing him from the team going forward. 

Despite all the drama that unfolded over the weekend and the issues that preceded it, Arians did note on Monday that he doesn’t think twice about the initial decision to bring Brown — who caught five passes and a touchdown in Super Bowl LIV last year — aboard back in 2020.  

“No, I have no regrets. I just hope the best for him,” said Arians. 

The coach went on to say that it was difficult to watch the chaotic scene unfold with Brown on the field. After bursting out on the sideline and various members of the team trying to calm him down, Brown took off his jersey and pads and threw his gloves and undershirt into the stands. He then jogged across the end zone shirtless and into the tunnel while flashing the peace sign. 

“Yeah, it was very hard,” Arians said Monday when asked if it was tough to watch Brown at that moment. “I wish him well. I hope if he needs help, [that he] gets some. It’s very hard because I do care about him.”

Arians was unsure if Brown underwent a mental health evaluation before leaving the stadium. 

“Once he left the field, I never saw him,” he added. 

This is all said to have come after an altercation between Arians and Brown. The veteran pass-catcher — who had been dealing with an ankle injury — reportedly felt like he was too injured to play and refused to enter the game when asked to by Arians. After refusing to enter the game twice, Arians told him to “Get out.” Arians was asked if Brown’s ankle injury played a role in the situation that unfolded and emphatically denied that notion. 

“None whatsoever,” Arians said. “He was cleared to play last week [and] played [well]. And [he was] cleared to play this week.”

Brown is currently still on the Buccaneers roster and the team is reportedly working with the NFL to determine the next steps following this in-game exit. 

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