Antonio Brown claims the Buccaneers “cut” him because he refused to play with an ankle injury, but one of Brown’s former teammates believes money played a role in his decision to divest his team and walk out in the middle of the game. court. Bucs vs. Jets Game of the Week 17.
During an appearance on the Podcast “I am an athlete”, former Tampa Bay running back LeSean McCoy offered insight into Brown’s unceremonious departure and provided an explanation for why the veteran wide receiver was so upset on the bench. McCoy, who played for the Buccaneers during the 2020 season, couldn’t confirm if Brown really was too injured to continue playing, but told the podcast panel that Brown was “mad” because he wasn’t being targeted and had incentives on the line. .
Brown reportedly came close to earning three bonuses (receptions, receiving yards, and receiving touchdowns) that would have paid $333,333 each. McCoy said Bucs head coach Bruce Arians and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich openly discussed player incentives in 2020, leading Brown to believe they would help him reach his 2021 season goals. (A recent example: In Week 18, Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady made sure tight end Rob Gronkowski reached the required reception total to earn a $500,000 incentive.)
McCoy’s full breakdown of the “I Am Athlete Podcast” podcast:
“[We’re in] like, Week 13 or 14, [Leftwich is] like, ‘Hey, does anyone have any incentives in your contract? If you do, please let me know. I’ll get you your job because I really like that. … One of the games, Mike Evans was playing. We play in Detroit. The year is really over. We’re good, qualified for the playoffs and all that. Mike is there trying to get 1,000 yards. I say, ‘Yo, I love this kind of coach. I respect it.’ [Arians is] cool with that
“So, let’s fast forward. That’s last year. So, this year, [Brown] it’s like, ‘Oh, I see that. Oh, is that what we’re doing? So now I’m awake. You know what I mean? Can’t get my eight catches? Oh, are you throwing the ball to these other people? You know what I’m talking?’ I won’t go into all the details because those are my guys. I’m not going to expose all your businesses. But he’s like, ‘Hey, are you throwing the ball to these other guys? It’s okay, I’m hot. Man, I’m hurt. I’m not going to enter'”.
McCoy ultimately disagreed with Brown’s handling of the situation, but understood what led to his frustration.
“I don’t respect how [Brown] reacted because that’s not the right way,” McCoy said. “You have to behave like a professional. … [Brown] He wasn’t professional about it. But I’ve been there where the coach is trying to play you, and he still thinks he’s that superstar. And it’s still nice. He’s not the superstar he used to be because of the roles.”
In 15 games with the Buccaneers, Brown totaled 87 receptions for 1,028 yards and eight touchdowns. In a statement released through his lawyerBrown said he plans to have ankle surgery and play again next season.