Raiders release Antonio Brown before star wide receiver plays one game


After zero games played and months of drama, the Raiders officially released star wide receiver Antonio Brown on Saturday morning.

The Raiders acquired the four-time All-Pro in March, sending a third- and fifth-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers in a trade for the disgruntled superstar. The Raiders agreed to a three-year contract with Brown worth nearly $30 million guaranteed, but he will not see a cent of that money following a bizarre, tension-filled tenure that ultimately came to a head late this week.

The Raiders reportedly fined Brown $215,073.53 on Friday night for conduct detrimental to the team, two days after he confronted general manager Mike Mayock, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The fine came shortly after Brown apologized to his teammates, and coach Jon Gruden and offensive coordinator Greg Olson both told reporters that the receiver would play in Monday night's season opener against the Denver Broncos.

The fine voided Brown's $29.125 million in contract guarantees, and the receiver emailed ESPN's Jeff Darlington that there was "no way I play after they took that and made my contract week to week." Early Saturday, Brown posted on Instagram that he wanted the Raiders to release him.

Brown arrived at Raiders training camp in Napa in July riding a hot-air balloon and sky-high expectations. But Brown did not play much during training camp or in any of the preseason games, as frostbitten feet and a prolonged helmet saga kept him away from the team for extended stretches.

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This week, Brown called out the Raiders on his Instagram story for fining him for missing practice and a walk-through. Brown and Mayock then got into a heated argument at Wednesday's practice, prompting the fine that ultimately opened the door for Brown's release.

Now, the Raiders will open the 2019 season in two days without the player seen as the key to unlocking their offense's potential, and Brown is looking for a new home. He can sign with a new team starting Saturday at 1 p.m. PT.

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