Hard Knocks is over. The drama between Antonio Brown and the Oakland Raiders that hung over the Raiders entire summer isn't. Far from it, really.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Brown and general manager Mike Mayock got into a verbal disagreement Wednesday that's prompted the Raiders to suspend the four-time All-Pro. It's not immediately clear how many games Brown will be suspended for. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport says that Brown threatened to hit Mayock, before punting a football and daring the Raiders to fine him. (Yes, there was a blue checkmark by his tweet.)
What's very immediately clear is what led to the disagreement. Wednesday, Brown posted a picture of the letter that Mayock sent to him informing him that he had been fined for missing Training Camp practices in during the saga that will probably be remembered as Helmetgate:
The Raiders will host the Denver Broncos in the second Monday Night Football matchup of Week 1. Many sportsbooks had them listed as home underdogs in Week 1 before this news, even though the Broncos only went 6-10 in 2018.
Brown, 31, was acquired by the Raiders in March for a third round pick and a fifth round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.
The Steelers, of course, weren't eager to move on from the production of Brown, but he seemed to reach the point of no return with the Steelers late in the 2018 season. After Brown didn't appear in the Steelers Week 17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Gerry Dulac and Ed Bouchette of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that he had been benched for the game due to his decision to skip practice in the second-half of the week leading up to the game after he and Roethlisberger got into a verbal altercation. In fact, the altercation reportedly went beyond being verbal, with the report suggesting that Brown fired a football at Roethlisberger.
Though Brown is on a Hall of Fame track in his career, it's fair to wonder if he'll ever suit up for the Raiders. Schefter says there's a perception from some around the league that the Raiders could now fight to be able to void the $30.125 million in guaranteed money left on Brown's deal, which would allow them to release him.
We'll have more on this story as it comes in...