Ex-New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown is feuding with another NFL player on social media, this time taking on Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield and telling him he’d get ‘beat quick’ in a fight.
The verbal sparring match started Friday, when Mayfield, 24, took to Instagram to post a throwback snapshot of himself being interviewed after an Oklahoma University game. He caption the picture: ‘Just some undersized Walk On… Keep that same energy.’
Mayfield, who stands 6’1″ tall, was a walk-on freshman quarterback at Texas Tech, before transferring to Oklahoma University where he would go on to win the Heisman Trophy as a senior in 2017.
A fan, using Antonio Brown’s ‘AB’ sobriquet, wrote in response to Mayfield’s caption: ‘Win football games. That speaks louder than these AB’ish style posts,’ referring to Brown’s penchant for making seemingly cocky statements in photo captions and tweets.
Mayfield responded: ‘You’re right. Let me call out my teammates and throw a fit about my helmet and then go freeze my feet off.’
The quarterback was referring to various recent Brown headlines, including getting frostbite on his feet during cryotherapy and a kerfuffle over not being allowed to use a particular helmet while signed with the Oakland Raiders over the summer.
In response to Mayfield’s dig, Brown, 31, tweeted Saturday: ‘Sorry ass Chico keep rolling right you ain’t done nothing in this league the internet only place u would ever talk too or about me. You know u get beat quick slice u up some humble pie.’
Brown then deleted the tweet, the New York Post reported, replacing it with another reading, ‘Should of never been drafted before Lamar Jackson what a big scam,’ and linking to an article about Mayfield’s 2017 DUI.
As part of a plea bargain, Mayfield pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of public intoxication, disorderly conduct and fleeing the scene in an Arkansas court in June 2017 and was ordered to pay $480 in fines and $483.20 in restitution, according to Bleacher Report. Despite this, the Browns selected him as the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Mayfield does not appear to have replied to Brown’s social media posts.
Brown’s social media sparring with NFL players and league bigwigs is said to be putting him thin ice with teams that might still be interested in hiring him, despite his having had sexual assault allegations lodged against him mid-September.
Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman tweeted Saturday morning that ‘One team official interested in Antonio Brown echoes something I’ve heard repeatedly: “The league will use what he’s doing on Twitter as further proof he’s out of control and needs to be suspended.”‘
In recent days, Brown got into a Twitter fight with Rams safety Eric Weddle.
He also wrote, then deleted, a tweet referencing Patriots owner Robert Kraft’s February arrest on misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution. ‘Kraft got caught in the parlor AB speculations fired different strokes different folks clearly,’ Brown wrote on September 22, accompanying it with a picture of himself and one of his accusers, Britney Taylor.
Brown was cut by the Patriots on September 20, after having been signed by them on September 7 – the same day he was cut by the Raiders following a contentious preseason with the Oakland team.
While the Oakland Raiders may be done with Antonio Brown, it appears he is not yet done with them.
ESPN reported Friday that Brown is working on a ‘potential grievance’ against the Raiders, attempting to recoup some of the $30million in guaranteed money that was voided when the team released him earlier this month.
According to the report, the NFL Players Association is also looking at ways Brown can get money back.
Citing a source, Fowler said among the money Brown wants back are three fines handed down by the Raiders, his Week 1 salary, his base salaries for this and next season totaling north of $29million and a $1million signing bonus.
Multiple reports in recent days also said Brown would file a grievance against the New England Patriots, who signed Brown after he was let go by the Raiders, then cut him after only one game.
Yahoo Sports reported Friday that five league sources agreed that Brown is likely to win a grievance over the $9million signing bonus the Patriots are refusing to pay him. According to those sources, Brown was not released for any conduct outlined in the collective bargaining agreement that would allow a team to void bonuses.
A week before Brown was cut by New England, his former trainer filed a civil suit accusing him of three incidents of sexual assault or rape over a two-year period from 2017 to 2018.
Then the day before Brown was cut, Sports Illustrated reported that a second woman who claimed Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her told the NFL Brown had sent her ‘intimidating and threatening’ texts.
According to the Yahoo report Friday, by playing Brown in a game after learning of the civil suit, the Patriots will have a difficult time claiming the suit as a reason to void his bonuses.
However, league sources have said that Kraft would fight to the bitter end to avoid paying Brown another dime after the online insults.
After all is said and done in arbitration, though, the Patriots may have no choice but to pay Brown the signing bonus, five experts told Yahoo Sports.
The key to the dispute lies in the league’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, which lists four specific reasons that a player would forfeit a signing bonus. Those reasons are:
League sources say that whatever the Patriots put into their contract with Brown, those four conditions are the only ones that the CBA allows for the forfeit of a signing bonus.
The lawsuit accusing Brown of rape was filed by 28-year-old Britney Taylor in federal court just three days after the Patriots signed him on September 7, hours after the Oakland Raiders cut Brown from a three-year, $30 million deal.
The Patriots may have been able to get out of their contract with Brown by arguing that he had withheld information about the civil suit during negotiations — but the team negated that claim when they allowed Brown to play against the Dolphins on September 15, league sources say.
The Patriots paid Brown $158,333 for that game — which could ultimately undermine the team’s attempt to void the guaranteed signing bonus.
‘If they had cut [Brown] as soon as they became aware of the civil suit, then there’s the argument of the [withholding] breach undermining the entire agreement,’ one league source told Yahoo Sports.
‘But they kept him on the roster after that lawsuit was filed. They played him in a game. They even paid him checks for [two weeks of] work. If the civil suit was a true dealbreaker, the Patriots could have shown it by breaking the deal. Their actions speak to their intent and their intent was shown when they continued to pay him after the civil suit.’
Still, close observers expect Kraft to fight the bonus payment through every step of arbitration, and say that Brown should not expect to see the money any sooner than late in 2020.
‘This is just spitefulness. They’re fighting [Brown] completely out of the anger and embarrassment in ownership,’ one source told Yahoo.
Some believe that no mater what ruling is delivered in arbitration, Kraft will refuse to pay Brown.
Following his release from the Patriots, Brown initially took to Twitter to announce his retirement from the NFL, but quickly reversed course and said he hoped to play again.
‘I’m still the best why stop now,’ Brown wrote Thursday.
The 31-year-old free agent also boasted, somewhat ambiguously, ‘The game need me I’m like test answers.’
Brown is currently an unrestricted free agent, and is under investigation by the NFL, which has yet to reach a conclusion in its probe.
Drew Rosenhaus, Brown’s agent, believes his client will be back in the NFL if and when the league clears him of any wrongdoing.
‘I believe that Antonio wants to continue his career in the NFL,’ Rosenhaus said on retired NFL veteran Warren Sapp’s podcast.
‘It’s my hope, it’s Antonio’s hope, that he’ll be back playing as soon as possible,’ Rosenhaus added.
In 10 NFL seasons (the first nine with the Pittsburgh Steelers), Brown has caught 841 passes for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He is a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time All-Pro.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Maxine Shen and Keith Griffith