Antonio Brown accuses Bucs of treating him like ‘a little dog,’ suggests Tom Brady enticed him to play hurt

The last time Antonio Brown was on an NFL field came in 2022 when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took on the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He left the stadium in the middle of the game, removing his gear and his shirt on his way to the dramatic exit.

Brown blamed coach Bruce Arians for making him play while he was allegedly injured but over the weekend it appeared there was a new catalyst for the meltdown – his former friend Tom Brady.


Antonio Brown and Tom Brady of the Buccaneers celebrate their touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys at Raymond James Stadium on Sept. 9, 2021, in Tampa, Florida. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The free-agent wide receiver, who recently saw his arena league team get booted over a financial issue, appeared on Tyreek Hill’s podcast “It Needed To Be Said” and talked about the moment.

“We about to play the Jets, and this week I am really hurt. So I’m taking pictures to the coach like ‘If we’re going to win the Super Bowl, I’m going to need to take these last two weeks [of the regular season] at least recover up so I can give you my best, we here to win the Super Bowl.’ So, coach was like, ‘Hey man, we ain’t resting.’”

Brown said Brady promised him targets during the game if he powered through the pain. The seven-time Pro Bowler got five targets in the game and caught three passes for 26 yards.

“Tom called me like ‘Yo, this week man, the Jets man, they sweet man imma hit you with like 10 to 12 [targets],’” Brown said. “So, he gonna gas me up so you know me, that’s all I need to hear, like yo, you gonna throw me the ball.”

Antonio Brown ditches his shirt

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown throws his gloves into the stands during the New York Jets game, Jan. 2, 2022, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)


Brown said he has no ill will toward Brady but still appeared to be upset that the quarterback enticed him to play while he was injured.

“Tom Brady hit me up like ‘Yo, this is a big week,’” Brown explained. “So, I’m like f— it. I know my s— f—ed up, but if he’s gonna f— with me like that, why not? So I dressed up, suited up and got there.”

Brown said when he wasn't getting the targets he expected, he bounced.

“You don’t want to throw me the ball and you making me like I’m crazy, so, I was like, ‘I’m crazy, f— all you motherf—ers, I’m out of here,” he said.

Antonio Brown leaves

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown gestures to the crowd as he leaves the field during the New York Jets game, Jan. 2, 2022. (Andrew Mills/NJ Advance Media via AP)

He said the Bucs “treated me like I was a little dog.”

Tampa Bay took a chance on Brown as he was facing a suspension for conduct detrimental in 2020. He became an integral part of the offense in Brady’s first season with the Bucs and caught a touchdown pass in the Super Bowl.


He only played seven games in 2021 as he was on the COVID list and violated the league’s policy for misrepresenting his coronavirus vaccine status. Tampa Bay would officially release him four days after he left the team.

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