Antonio Brown hasn't been seen in the NFL since walking off the field during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' season finale against the New York Jets. He stripped down to just his football pants and jogged across the endzone to the tunnel, cheering the fans as he did so. He claimed it stemmed from the Buccaneers trying to force him to play with severe pain from an ankle injury. After he passed waivers, no one expected to see Antonio Brown anytime soon.
But that's not Antonio Brown's style, is it now? The free-agent wide receiver recently spoke with TMZ Sports and stated that he has not yet undergone surgery for his ankle and refuses to until a team commits to signing him.
Brown also asked the question of why other star receivers were getting top-dollar contracts and he was being "undervalued."
Twitter loves when Antonio Brown makes any Tweet or comment on social media, and NFL fans were all-in on what they made of Brown's recent remarks.
@xCOONDOGGx had the perfect response to get the ball rolling and also start rumors of Brown joining a team outside of the NFL this year:
@AllOurTeamsSuck made a valid point in why any team would offer a contract knowing he is "damaged goods."
@DrJesseMorse gave their professional opinion on what waiting will do for his 2022 status:
@EricPerricone brings up the fact that Brown would be losing out on several million dollars as he complains about spending a couple thousand on his surgery:
@MatPahomes51 believes Brown should get the surgery regardless of whether he plays again or not, simply for the ability to walk and run in his everyday life:
Others, like @MacToHunter, are on the side of Brown in this debate. Sure, a team would help cover the cost of the surgery by paying him a salary, but his NFL insurance would pay for the initial costs:
@Keji999 is like many who have the wrong facts on the matter. It is less about money and more about having power in the situation:
Could Antonio Brown play for another league?
The USFL is about to kick off its inaugural season in April, and Brown could easily be their most popular player on any roster. As a spring league, the USFL consists more of players who are fresh out of college or who have been cut from NFL practice squads. Still, there is excellent exposure by playing for the XFL or USFL.
Sadly, due to Brown's excessive ego, it seems unlikely that he will agree to play outside the NFL. There's less money and benefits, and the league may veto any contracts offered to him in the first place. As 2022 is their first season, having Brown as the face of the organization may turn away potential investors and sponsors.