Antonio Brown is going on the defensive, releasing alleged text messages on Thursday between himself and Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians as well as correspondence with Tom Brady's trainer Alex Guerrero. Brown posted screenshots of the messages after he left the Buccaneers game against the New York Jets on Sunday.
"This is BA. Make sure your (sic) ready to go tomorrow. We ARE NOT resting for the playoffs," Arians allegedly wrote to Brown on Thursday, Dec. 30. Brown responded the next day, "I'm all in coach really [can't] get to full speed I wanna win wanna be there if I wake up tomorrow feel better I'll be ready kinda rolled it outside on 2pt play I want what's best for team lmk when you're free I'll call u." To that message, Arians allegedly replied, "Come see me (in) the morning. We'll talk it out. Definitely want you with us in case you're ready."
Health over Wealth # Barbarian pic.twitter.com/5pxjpZ6491— AB (@AB84) January 6, 2022
Brown also called out Brady's longtime trainer Guerrero, alleging that Guerrero has yet to pay back money Brown gave him for working out. The conversation appeared to take place on Christmas Eve. "Hey Ag if we not going to work any more that's fine lmk about the 100k I paid you only fair get back half my money lmk how to proceed," Brown's message read. Guerrero replied: "Good morning AB. I appreciate you reaching out to me. I completely understand that you want to go in a different direction. Thank you for the opportunity to work together. You are a wonderful person. I hope for your continued success on and off the field. Please let me know where you want me to send the balance. Big hugs my friend."
Brown appeared to have made his case to Arians about not being fully healthy for the game in Week 17 against the Jets. He was on the injury report in the days leading up to the game, during which he had three catches and 26 yards before he left in the middle of the game. In Week 16, he had 10 catches for 101 yards.
Wednesday evening, the wide receiver released a lengthy statement via his lawyer defending his actions, saying he "relented to pressure" from Arians "to play injured," alleging that "the staff injected me with what I now know was a powerful and sometimes dangerous painkiller that the NFLPA has warned against using."
Calling his ankle pain "extreme," Brown said, "I took a seat on the sideline and my coach came up to me, very upset, and shouted, 'What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you?' I told him, 'It's my ankle.' But he knew that. It was well-documented and we had discussed it. He then ordered me to get on the field. I said, 'Coach I can't.' He didn't call for medical attention. Instead, he shouted at me, 'YOU'RE DONE!' while he ran his finger across his throat. Coach was telling me that if I didn't play hurt, then I was done with the Bucs."
Brown insisted that he "didn't walk away" from the team, saying he was "thrown out." He alleged that Arians "denied on national television that he knew about my ankle" calling that "100% inaccurate." He maintained that he was "cut first" before leaving the game. He also said he had an MRI on his ankle Monday and it showed he had "broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful."