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4 previous times Antonio Brown has proved to be the most controversial NFL superstar

Brown prior to Sunday's controversial departure (Photo: Getty)
Brown prior to Sunday's controversial departure (Photo: Getty)
Geoff Magliocchetti
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Antonio Brown's Tampa Bay Buccaneers contract may be terminated, but the drama behind its severing has persisted.

New claims from Brown indicate that his shirtless departure from Tampa's Sunday win over the Jets was induced by Buccaneer management ignoring his claims of being too injured to re-enter the game. Another war of words has since ensued between Brown and his former employers with seemingly no end in sight.

His controversial Floridian departure is the latest of Brown's many off-field controversies, with others documented below.

Four prior controversies of the Antonio Brown era

Brown seen prior to a December 2012 game in Dallas (Photo: Getty)
Brown seen prior to a December 2012 game in Dallas (Photo: Getty)

2012: Franchise Mode

Brown burst onto the scene with a breakout sophomore season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, eclipsing 1,000 yards in the receiving and kick return categories. His efforts were rewarded with a five-year, $42.5 million contract extension.

Alas, the early success appeared to go to Brown's head. Around the time his Pittsburgh tenure ended, former teammate Ryan Clark revealed to Dave Clark of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he engaged in a training camp confrontation with Brown, who was upset at the physical play from the defenders of defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau's defense.

"He (was) saying things. screaming at Coach LeBeau, screaming at us defensively saying, 'Don't touch me. I'm the franchise,'" Ryan Clark recalled. "When you give him money, you're going to create a monster."

Brown's social media usage got him into trouble after a win over the Chiefs (Photo: Getty)
Brown's social media usage got him into trouble after a win over the Chiefs (Photo: Getty)

2017: The Antonio-cial Network

With 108 yards on six receptions, Brown helped the Steelers earn an upset victory in the 2016-17 AFC Divisional playoffs against the Kansas City Chiefs. The goodwill, however, was short-lived. Brown broadcast the team's postgame celebration on Facebook live, which featured head coach Mike Tomlin using colorful language to describe the New England Patriots, the Steelers' opponent in the upcoming conference title game. Brown was forced to apologize for the steam, which was referred to by Tomlin as "foolish," before Pittsburgh was trounced by a 36-17 tally in the semifinal.

Controversies in Pittsburgh later put Brown on a path to Oakland (Photo: Getty)
Controversies in Pittsburgh later put Brown on a path to Oakland (Photo: Getty)

2018-19: Steel City Rusted

Brown's 2018-19 season, while historic (as he became the third-fastest receiver in NFL history to reach the 10,000-yard plateau), ended in controversial fashion. Rumors of fighting with franchise quarterback Ben Roethlisberger led to his benching for the Steelers' final game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Prior to that punishment, Brown was enraptured in several legal incidents, which included throwing furniture from his 14th-floor apartment and speeding in excess of 100 miles per hour on a suburban highway. The Steelers eventually cut ties with Brown via a trade to the Oakland Raiders that netted two middle draft picks.

Brown with Derek Carr during his single Raider experience, an August 2019 preseason game in Arizona (Photo: Getty)
Brown with Derek Carr during his single Raider experience, an August 2019 preseason game in Arizona (Photo: Getty)

2019: Raider Gration

Brown began grating the Raiders' nerves from the get-go, opening training camp by sharing an image of his heavily blistered feet on social media, a result of not wearing the proper footwear during a cryotherapy session. The condition caused Brown to miss all but one training camp practice. Further controversy arose when Brown started a fruitless crusade to wear his older, since-banned, helmet for his Raider career and, later, reportedly engaged in a verbal altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. Shortly after the Raiders cut ties, Brown was further accused of sexual assault by former trainer Britney Taylor and a second woman. Despite the allegations, Brown later worked his way onto the New England Patriots roster and partook in one game with Tom Brady and Co. before further controversies, which included threatening text messages allegedly sent to one of his accusers, cut things short.


Edited by Windy Goodloe
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