Antonio Brown no longer is a Raider, but the sides' messy divorce could just be getting started.
The Raiders released Brown on Saturday morning after a Friday fine for conduct detrimental to the team allowed Oakland to void Brown's $29.125 million in contract guarantees. Brown's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, did not rule out pursuing legal action against the Raiders when asked about the option in an appearance on NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" on Saturday morning.
"Well, all I can say is -- and I really don't want to get into what could be an upcoming legal situation -- so the only comment that I'll say is we'll do what's best for Antonio," Rosenhaus told Mike Garafolo. "We will deal with the NFLPA, and we'll look into all of our options and we'll take the necessary steps that are in Antonio's best interests. What those are moving forward, we'll find out, But that's really all I can say about this because, again, it might be a legal situation and that's something that will be litigated between the Raiders and Antonio and the NFLPA."
Brown joined the Raiders in March after Oakland sent a third- and fifth-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for the disgruntled All-Pro receiver. Pittsburgh was happy to be rid of Brown after his relationship with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, coach Mike Tomlin and his Steelers teammates eroded, resulting in a trade demand following a one-game suspension in the 2018 regular-season finale.
Just shy of six months later, Brown is a free agent.
The Raiders reportedly fined Brown on Friday for his Thursday altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. Brown got into it with Mayock after the Raiders fined the receiver for missing practice and a walkthrough, but Brown apologized to his now-former teammates Friday and issued a brief statement to reporters in Alameda that same day. Afterwards, coach Jon Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson both spoke of using Brown in Monday night's season opener against the Denver Broncos.
Rosenhaus told NFL Network on Thursday that he, Brown and the Raiders were "trying to get all get on the same page moving forward." Ultimately, they could not salvage the relationship.
Agent @RosenhausSports on @nflnetwork, talking WR Antonio Brown: "It's been well-documented that it's been a rocky road from the beginning. Unfortunately, not all relationships between players & teams work out. … Everybody had the best intentions going in but it didn't pan out."— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 7, 2019
Brown's short tenure in Oakland ended without him playing a single game. He missed much of the preseason due to frostbitten feet after entering a cryotherapy chamber in France without proper footwear, and filed two separate helmet grievances against the NFL after the league would not let him wear his preferred Schutt AiR Advantage helmet since it didn't reach safety standards. Brown ultimately settled on a new helmet, and he now will have to settle on a new team.
The NFLPA's website says players must file a non-injury grievance within 50 days "from the date the dispute arises." In other words, there still is plenty of time before the Brown-Raiders saga reaches its conclusion.