ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Raiders are planning to suspend star wide receiver Antonio Brown after a heated exchange with general manager Mike Mayock, according to a report by ESPN. So now, before Brown even plays a down for the Raiders, his future with the organization is in question.
However, Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told NFL Network on Thursday night he’s working to resolve the situation between the Raiders and Brown.
“I don’t think it’s too late to salvage that relationship,” said Rosenhaus, who claimed his client still wants to play for the Raiders and have a productive season.
Rosenhaus said Brown remains in Oakland, though the NFL Network reported he will likely stay away from the facility through the practice week.
The Raiders open the NFL season at home on “Monday Night Football” in a nationally televised game against the Denver Broncos.
As of Thursday night, the Raiders had not yet formally suspended Brown.
“My hope is there won’t be a suspension,” Rosenhaus said. “I’m working with them to try to avoid that scenario.”
The suspension comes after Brown posted a letter on his Instagram account Wednesday that documented team fines against him. The letter from Mayock specified fines for missing mandatory team activities.
At the start of Thursday’s practice, Mayock issued a short statement to the media, taking no questions.
“Antonio Brown is not in the building today. He won’t be practicing,” Mayock said. “I don’t have any more information for you right now. And when I have some, and it becomes appropriate, you guys will all get it — I promise you. But that’s it for today.”
A report from NFL Network described Brown as having a “one-sided” shouting match with Mayock in front of players. The report also said Brown took a ball, punted it and said, “Fine me for that.”
The letter said Brown was being fined $13,950 for missing a Raiders walk-through on Aug. 22. The letter also said Brown had previously been fined $40,000 for missing practice on Aug. 18.
Brown’s absence from the Aug. 18 practice resulted in Mayock issuing an ultimatum, saying it was time for Brown to be “all in or all out.”
Following Thursday’s practice, Raiders coach Jon Gruden declined to say whether Brown had been suspended, telling reporters there will be an official announcement later.
“We’ll give you the information on Antonio when we have it official, correct and right,” Gruden said. “I don’t want to speculate any further. Can’t do it.”
“I’m emotional about it — I hope you understand why,” Gruden later added. “I think Antonio is a great receiver. And I think, deep down, I think he’s a really good guy. So I’m frustrated. I’m not going to say any more about it. Hope it all works out.”
With a game to play in four days, Gruden said the Raiders do have to prepare as if Brown will not play in the game. However, that’s not anything new for the club, which went through nearly all of training camp without Brown.
“We never knew, sometimes, when he was going to practice,” Gruden said. “We’re good at adapting and adjusting, unfortunately.”
According to rookie wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, the whole Brown ordeal has not been a distraction to the group.
“We all love AB. Whenever he’s here, he’s a blast to be around,” Renfrow said. “It’s kind of like an injury. You’ve just got to go. And every team talks about next man up, but you’ve got to go and just do your job.”
Since being traded from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March, Brown’s experienced a tumultuous tenure with the Raiders. He signed an extension worth $30 million in guaranteed money, but that is now in jeopardy if the Raiders do go through with suspending him for conduct detrimental to the team.
While Brown had practiced with the Raiders over the last two weeks — drawing praise just Wednesday from quarterback Derek Carr for elevating the play of those around him — Brown’s status on the team now appears to be in jeopardy.
The Antonio Brown file
Position: wide receiver.
Vitals: 5-10, 181 pounds.
High school: Miami (Florida) Norland.
College: Central Michigan.
NFL Draft: 2010 6th round.
— Seven Pro Bowls (2011, 2013-18)
— Four first-team All Pro (2014-17)
— Twice led NFL in receiving yards (2014, 2017).
— Led NFL in touchdown receptions (2018).