Antonio Brown, Lawyer Ponder Litigation Against Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Antonio Brown makes strong allegations against Bucs, ponders lawsuit originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston

Antonio Brown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers parted ways earlier this month but the star wide receiver’s shadow still looms over the team as it enters the 2022 NFL offseason.

In an interview that aired Tuesday on HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel," Brown, along with his attorney, Sean Burstyn, suggested that litigation could be coming against the Bucs over the team's handling of his ankle injury against the New York Jets on Jan. 2.

In the interview with Gumbel, Brown admitted to taking toradol shots from the Bucs’ medical staff before several games to alleviate some of the pain he was experiencing with his ankle injury, but that it also made him unaware of the damage he was actually doing to his ankle. 

Related: Brown celebrates Bucs' playoff loss with petty tweet

Brown told Gumbel that the Buccaneers “(tried) to make an agreement with me to give me $200,000 to go to the crazy house so these guys could look like they know what they’re talking about.”

That allegation led Burstyn to explain that the alleged payment was for Brown to “basically sit on the sidelines, go on some list, and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment.

“We were specifically told in writing, by the general manager -- twice. Don’t spin this any other way,” Burstyn alleged in the interview.

Burstyn told Gumbel that Brown was defamed “by this spin that he had a mental health episode that makes him someone who’s not reliable to do a good job on the field.”

Gumbel asked a logical follow up: Will Brown be filing a defamation lawsuit against the team?

“All of our options are on the table,” said Burstyn, who noted that Brown’s legal team will pursue money for the receiver's ankle surgery as well as money they feel Brown is owed under the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

The Buccaneers said they weren’t going to comment on Brown’s interview with Gumbel.

“We are going to refrain from further comment other than the statements that have already been put out by the team in the days after the Jets game and prior to [Brown] being waived,” the team said in a statement.

Brown was officially released on Jan. 6 -- four days after four days after he walked off the field during the Buccaneers’ win over the Jets.

A day after his release, Brown took former teammate took former teammate Tom Brady to task for not having his back in Tampa Bay.

“To me, a friend is someone who’s got your back,” Brown said during an appearance on the “Full Send Podcast.” “Not everybody in sports is going to be your friend. Tom Brady’s my friend why? Because I’m a good football player. He needs me to play football. People have different meanings of what friendship is.”

Brown has been anything but shy when talking about his departure from Tampa Bay.

Tuesday night’s interview with Gumbel provided perhaps the clearest insight into what the star receiver wants from the aftermath of his release.

“A whole lotta money,” Brown told Gumbel. “A whole lot. It’s totally disrespect, man. You know, it’s — mental health is an important key in the world, so to drag people along and play on people’s mental health, you know, it’s unfair and unfortunate.”

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