While the NFL waited Friday morning to see what happens next in the Antonio Brown saga, Raiders team captains have sent a message: the team will remain united, no matter what happens.
Several reports indicated Brown – who had a verbal confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock this week because he’s been fined for missing two practices this summer – could be suspended, fined or released by the team before the season-opening game Monday against the visiting Denver Broncos.
Brown was acquired by the Raiders this spring from the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the dynamic wide receiver – one of the NFL’s best playmakers – was a big reason for the team’s optimism going into 2019.
Now, however, his future with the team is uncertain. On Friday, in a sign that Brown’s relationship with the team has reached a new low, he even stopped following the team, and quarterback Derek Carr, on Instagram.
Carr’s older brother, David, said on the NFL Network Thursday night that team captains met with head coach Jon Gruden Thursday to let him know the players will back whatever he and Mayock decide.
“The players are fine with whatever happens,” said David Carr.
Added David Carr: “They would love to have Antonio Brown back. They would love to have him back, but there’s a culture they’re trying to establish in Oakland and they’re trying to do things the right way and there’s one guy that’s kind of holding them up right now. And that can’t be the case and those guys collectively went into Jon Gruden and said, ‘we’re going to make sure that we’re with you no matter what you decide to do.’ ”
On Friday morning, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, said on ESPN that he’s still working with the team to seek a solution for both parties. Rosenhaus says Brown has a good relationship with Gruden but must work out differences with Mayock.
“Right now, that’s something that’s still in the works,” said Rosenhaus.
Monday's season opener is set for a 7:20 p.m. kickoff.