What happened to Antonio Brown? Bruce Arians won’t give reason for Buccaneers’ mid-game release

Antonio Brown’s time with the Buccaneers came to an abrupt end Sunday.

Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians announced Brown’s fate after the Buccaneers’ 28-24 win over the Jets in Week 17.

“He is no longer a Buc”, Arians told reporters. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who came out and won the game.”

MORE: Topless Antonio Brown Apparently Quits Buccaneers

While Arians did not publicly provide a reason for Brown’s firing, Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer reports that it was because Arians asked Brown to enter the game and the veteran catcher refused.

What followed after Arians’ reported request was Brown’s collapse. He was seen talking to Mike Evans on the Buccaneers bench during the third quarter, but shortly after, he removed his jersey, pads and jersey and left the field.

Brown tossed his jersey into the stands on his way to the locker room. He paused briefly in the end zone to cheer on the Jets crowd and gave them a peace sign as he disappeared. He did not return to the field.

This isn’t the first time Brown has been in trouble during his career, not even in the last month. In December, he was suspended for three games after misrepresenting his vaccination status. However, Arians decided to welcome him back to the team after his suspension; Brown’s latest outburst was apparently too much to overcome.

With Brown out and Chris Godwin out for the season with a torn ACL, Mike Evans is the only remaining starting catcher for Tampa Bay. The team will have to rely more on Breshad Perriman, Tyler Johnson and Cyril Grayson, who had the game-winning touchdown catch against the Jets, moving forward as they prepare for another postseason run.