Antonio Brown was further emboldened by getting his way out of Pittsburgh, and now his new team may not even know where he is.
After he quit on them in Week 17 last season, the Pittsburgh Steelers were happy to move on from Antonio Brown and let another team take on the headache. A trade to the Oakland Raiders, and a new big contract to boot, eventually came for Brown.
Brown succumbed early in training camp to a foot issue that has mostly kept him off the practice field. Earlier this week, the issue was revealed to be frostbite suffered when he failed to wear proper footwear in a cryotherapy chamber.
For all his talent, the definition of “diva wide receiver” in any dictionary has Brown’s picture featured next to it. So the Raiders and Jon Gruden knew exactly what they were getting, and they’re apparently already getting a dose of it.
According Chase Williams of NBC affiliate WPXI in Pittsburgh, Brown has gone “radio silent” on the Raiders and they have no idea where he is or any update on the progress of his foot issues.
Brown is not wrong to seek treatment away from the team if that’s what he wants to do. But not informing your employer of your whereabouts while doing so is another level, and pushing the envelope of insubordination if this were the real world.
The Raiders have not said anything specific publicly about the nature of Brown’s foot problems, and details were conveniently not given during the first episode of Hard Knocks. It could be an attempt at a well-calculated stunt, with the report out there regarding frostbite and Brown’s own social media post featuring his peeling feet. Or the team may actually not know what’s going on, and there’s nothing to say with any confidence.
When he attempted to force his exit from the Steelers and got his way, Brown was further emboldened to do whatever he wants to do. The Raiders would have probably liked some sort of grace period before they had to deal with a Brown-fueled distraction. But it’s not even mid-August and here we are, with his bizarre foot problem and his apparent going off the grid in its wake.