Antonio Brown’s long strange trip in Oakland is now over.
The Raiders released Brown, their star wide receiver, on Saturday, ending the latest chapter in his brief but remarkably tumultuous tenure with the team. The announcement came just hours after Brown asked the team to release him and only two days before the Raiders are scheduled to open the season against the Broncos.
Brown posted a message on his Instagram account on Saturday morning saying that he was misunderstood and unappreciated, and wanted to move on. “Release me @Raiders #NOMore,” he wrote.
Where Brown ends up next is anyone’s guess. He became one of the most gifted receivers in the league during his nine years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Now that Antonio is a free agent, we are focused on the future and I will immediately work on signing him to a new team. Antonio is looking forward to a new beginning,” Drew Rosenhaus said to ESPN.
Brown signed a three-year extension with about $30 million guaranteed after being acquired from Pittsburgh in March for two draft picks.
The Raiders cut Brown because they were confident they do not have to pay the guaranteed portion of his $64 million contract, according to ESPN and NFL Network. Brown’s request to be released was likely an admission that he knew he would not receive any money guaranteed in his contract, ESPN said.
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SOURCE: New York Times, Ken Belson