Antonio Brown wants to play again, but on condition
Antonio Brown wants to play in the NFL once again, but any team who takes the plunge with the former Buccaneer will have to know that he comes with baggage.
Mention the name Antonio Brown and you're sure to get a whole host of opinions. From greatest wide receiver ever to out right crazy, the former Tampa Bay Buccaneer has given the media a fair share of talking points. As he now hopes to make a return to the NFL the question is should a team take a chance on him?
The problem with Antonio Brown
That he wants to play in the NFL again is no secret, on the other hand the real question is just which team would be willing to take a chance on Antonio Brown when considering all of the excess baggage that he brings along with him? The former Buccaneers receiver has been very outspoken about his desire to return to the league in 2022, however, the controversy that accompanies him is not just well known, it's downright prohibitive. That is of course before considering the fact that Brown comes with a problematic ankle.
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Brown's ankle injury is in fact well documented and more over at the center of turmoil that saw him storm off the field - after removing his jersey - during Tampa Bay's game against the Jets back in January. Brown maintains that the team attempted to force him to play though he was injured, while the Bucs' maintain that the injury had nothing to do with it. Either way, that moment was to be his last playing for the Bucs' and one which has served as the punctuation point on Brown's last stint in the league. This brings us to the present, where Brown is currently without a team and still nursing an ankle that more than likely needs to be repaired surgically, before he can play again.
Antonio Brown wants assurances before surgery
As mentioned before, Antonio Brown has an ankle problem and more over one that will require surgery before he can play again. The problem - depending on which side one takes - is that the former wide receiver wants a team to sign him before he agrees to go under the knife. Speaking in an interview this week, Brown was quite frank about his position. "I need to get my ankle fixed, but I just want to make sure I got an obligation or a commitment from a team," Brown said. "It's a lot for a guy to go do surgery without an idea of where you gonna work, or who you going to work for."
Needless to say Brown's stance only further complicates his situation. On the one hand his talent can't be denied, however, with controversy never far off many teams will be asking whether or not the risk is worth it. Even more so now that Brown has created a scenario where his demands must be met before he has surgery when logic would dictate that the operation occur before his demands could be met. If teams should fail to make contact with Brown it is unclear as to what the former Buccaneer will do, but one thing that is certain is that he wants to play. "I'm a player first," Brown said. "I couldn't even be in this position without being a football player. So I never want to take that for granted. I would love to continue my career. I got a lot of game left in me."
Where could Antonio Brown play?
While the jury is out as to where Brown could potentially play next, there is one team where it is quite clear that he won't and that's the last team he was with, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. "I don't think that's a possibility," Brown said. "How things were handled. How I was handled in regards to the injury. [They] just weren't able to use me for my value. My true value. ...But I was grateful for the opportunity and the position that I was in and I made the most out of it." It is of course quite a turn around to hear Brown speak in such terms about his former team, having been extremely critical of them - Tom Brady included - back in February, however, it won't be the first time that Brown's words have been all over the place.
Regardless, if there is one thing that is certain, its the idea that Brown himself believes that he still has what it takes to be a star in the league. Indeed, the seven-time Pro Bowler was matter of fact about his ability and even hinted that he'd like to turn out for the Dallas Cowboys or Baltimore Ravens."I still feel like I can put up big numbers, and I see what these guys are getting paid," Brown said. "I just wonder why my value isn't being upheld as the same."