Antonio Brown’s abrupt exit from the field Sunday not only cost the Buccaneers a valuable receiving target, it also might have cost Brown around $1 million.
According to Spotrac, Brown was close to earning three separate bonuses that would have netted the wide receiver $333,333 each. To achieve those bonuses, he needed to post the following stats over the final one-plus games of the regular season:
- 8 catches
- 55 receiving yards
- 1 receiving touchdown
During the third quarter of Tampa Bay’s game against the Jets, Brown took off his jersey, pads and undershirt and ran off the field, giving a peace sign to the crowd as he left. He did not return.
After the game, Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians simply said Brown “is no longer a Buc.”
Before leaving, Brown had three receptions for 26 yards. In his six 2021 games prior to Sunday, Brown had 39 receptions for 519 yards and four touchdowns. Brown had more than eight receptions and 55 yards in each of his past two games, though he had only one score during that time.
Though reaching the season milestones (50 receptions, 600 yards, five touchdowns) would have been far from a guarantee, Brown figured to play a key role in the team’s pursuit of a higher playoff seed down the stretch, particularly with wide receiver Chris Godwin out for the remainder of the year because of a torn ACL.
This season has been one of consistent drama for Brown. He was suspended for three games for making misleading statements about his COVID-19 vaccination status. The ban stemmed from an accusation by a former chef that Brown used a fake vaccination card to be cleared by the team.
When he signed with the Buccaneers last season, Arians said that if Brown “screws up one time, he’s gone.” Despite that, Brown returned once his suspension concluded, with Arians saying that it was in the best interest of the team for him to rejoin the squad.
The only game Brown played and finished after returning from his suspension was the Bucs’ victory over the Panthers last week. He caught 10 passes for 101 yards.