Saturday morning, Antonio Brown proved that he is in control of the storyline surrounding his NFL career. Using social media and YouTube, he found a way to make his altercation with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock look like this was actually the team holding him down. His decisions have been questioned, but Brown is proving that he can use his various platforms to push whatever narrative he wants.
In this instance, Brown filmed his reaction to the news that he was being released by the Oakland Raiders in order to release it on YouTube. In the video, he saw Adam Schefter tweet out the news that he was being released, and then he celebrated by running into the yard and screaming about freedom bells ringing.
"In this crazy world, I have to surround myself with winners. People who protect me. People that [put] in just as much work as me. People who respect me as a human. Time to show out!" Brown wrote in the video's description.
Immediately following him running around the yard screaming about his freedom, Brown hopped on the phone to call his grandma and let her know the news. He was free from the oppression of the Oakland Raiders and would now be free to sign with any team that he wanted.
Interestingly enough, Brown's previous posts on Twitter about "not being embraced by a village" in reference to his former Raiders teammates did not fit with this video on YouTube. His reaction alone to being released shows that he was not that invested with the Silver and Black, or "making the Raiders great again," as he said during training camp.
Ultimately, the New England Patriots stepped in and made the expected move. Brown agreed to terms with the team on a one-year contract worth $15 million. The deal also includes a $9 million signing bonus to offset the loss of the $30 million that he was scheduled to make with the Raiders. He will now join Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon to form one of the most talented receiving corps. in the entire league, but will this relationship ultimately work?
As Brown explained to Jeff Darlington prior to his trade, he will only play his way, or he won't play at all. He said he doesn't need football and can easily walk away.
"I don't need to prove nothing to anyone," Brown said. "If they wanna play, they gonna play by my rules. If not, I don't need to play."
Bill Belichick is not a head coach known for playing by other people's rules, especially his players, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts to Antonio Brown. This seems like a potentially combative relationship, but the Patriots have consistently defied expectations for years.