Antonio Brown
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Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown
refer to caption
Brown with the Steelers in 2016
Free agent
Position:Wide receiver
Personal information
Born: (1988-07-10) July 10, 1988 (age 31)
Miami, Florida
Height:5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight:185 lb (84 kg)
Career information
High school:Miami Norland
(Miami Gardens, Florida)
College:Central Michigan
NFL Draft:2010 / Round: 6 / Pick: 195
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 3, 2019
Receiving yards:11,263
Receiving touchdowns:75
Total return yards:2,932
Return touchdowns:5
Player stats at
Player stats at PFR

Antonio Tavaris Brown Sr. (born July 10, 1988) is an American football wide receiver who is a free agent. Raised in Liberty City, Miami, Brown attended Miami Norland High School, where he competed in both football and track. He played college football at Central Michigan University, where he earned All-American honors in 2008 and 2009 as a punt returner. A sixth round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Brown has amassed more receptions than any other player since he entered the league.[1]

During his first season with the Steelers, the team advanced to Super Bowl XLV but lost to the Green Bay Packers. He finished his rookie season with 16 receptions for 167 yards in ten games. During his second season, Brown became the first player in NFL history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same year. For his efforts, Brown was selected as a punt returner for the 2012 Pro Bowl. In 2013, Brown became the only receiver in NFL history to record five receptions and at least 50 yards in every single game of an NFL season. Although his on-the-field productivity continued over the next several seasons, including leading the league in receiving yards in 2014 and 2017, Brown's relationship with the Steelers worsened, especially with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.

In 2019, he was traded to the Oakland Raiders, who then made him the highest-paid receiver in the league. However, his time in Oakland was short-lived, and following several off-the-field incidents, including a confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock, the team released Brown without him ever playing a regular season game. Brown signed with the New England Patriots shortly thereafter, but was cut after appearing in only one game. At the time, the NFL was investigating sexual assault allegations made against Brown.

Early life

Brown is the son of retired Arena Football League star Eddie Brown, who was named the best player in the league's history in 2006.[2] He played wide receiver for the Albany Firebirds and collegiate football for Louisiana Tech.[3]

High school career

Miami Norland High School

Brown attended Miami Norland High School in Miami, Florida, where he was a two-sport athlete in both football and track.[4] In football, Brown played running back, quarterback, wide receiver, and punt returner for the Vikings.[5] He was a two-time Class 6A all-state selection and was also named North Athlete of the Year at 2005 Miami-Dade Gridiron Classic. In track & field, Brown was a two-time state qualifier in the 100-meter dash, and also ran the fourth leg on the Norland 4 × 100 m relay squad, helping them capture the state title at 41.50 seconds.[6] He spent a prep year in 2006 at North Carolina Tech.[7][8]

North Carolina Tech Prep

Coming out of high school, Brown applied to Florida State University. His admission was denied over academic concerns.[9]

After attempting to attend Alcorn State, he decided to enroll at North Carolina Tech Prep. Playing in just five games at quarterback, Brown passed for 1,247 yards and 11 touchdowns, while rushing for 451 yards and 13 touchdowns.[10] Once he finished his lone season at North Carolina Tech Prep, he received a scholarship to play at Florida International University, but he was expelled before the season for an altercation with security.[11] Brown then began reaching out to wide receivers coach Butch Jones at West Virginia, since he had been highly recruited by him. After learning that Jones had left West Virginia to become the head coach at Central Michigan, Brown enrolled at the school and started his college football career as a walk-on freshman.[12]

College career

Brown attended and played college football for Central Michigan from 2007-2009.[13]

Freshman season

Brown began attending Central Michigan in 2007 after wide receivers coach Zach Azzanni told him he could fly to Michigan and try out for the team as a walk-on wide receiver.[14] Transitioning from the quarterback position in high school to wide receiver in college was not that difficult for him, and after a few weeks, Central Michigan coaches offered him a scholarship. Brown had difficulty adjusting to the college lifestyle, and being on time for meetings and practice. Azzanni and his wife helped him get situated and into an established routine, and he soon became like a part of their family. During his first season at Central Michigan, Brown played in 14 games. He played well enough to win the Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year and was All-Conference as a returner. For his freshman season, he had 102 receptions for 1,003 yards and six touchdowns.[9][15] His 102 receptions led the Mid-American Conference in 2007.[16]

Sophomore season

Brown started every game during his sophomore season in 2008. Against Temple, he had three receptions for 33 yards and a season-high two touchdown receptions.[17] The next week, against Western Michigan, he had 10 receptions for 113 yards and threw a two-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter.[18] On November 28, while playing at Eastern Michigan, he had seven receptions for a season-high 172 yards and a touchdown.[19] For the season, Brown hauled in 93 receptions for 998 yards and seven touchdowns.[15] His 410 punt return yards and 791 kick return yards that season led the conference.[20]

Junior season

In his junior season against Akron on September 26, 2009, Brown had nine receptions for 89 yards and a season-high two touchdowns.[21] For the 2009 season, he had five games with over 100 receiving yards.[22] In his last regular season game on January 6, 2010, against Troy, Brown had a season-high 13 receptions for 178 yards.[23] He finished 2009 with single-season bests of 110 receptions (also a school record), 1,198 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. For his career at Central Michigan, he had a school-record 305 receptions, (including the top three seasons with the most receptions in school history), 3,199 receiving yards (fourth all-time), and 22 touchdowns (third all-time).[15][24] On January 7, 2010, he announced he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2010 NFL Draft.[25]


Antonio Brown Receiving Rushing
Year Team G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD
2007 Central Michigan 14 102 1,003 9.8 6 10 74 7.4 1
2008 Central Michigan 13 93 998 10.8 7 20 116 5.8 0
2009 Central Michigan 14 110 1,198 10.9 9 42 341 8.1 3
Career 41 305 3,199 10.5 22 72 531 7.4 4

Professional career

After Brown entered the 2010 NFL Draft, the majority of analysts and scouts projected him to be a fifth or sixth round draft selection. He was ranked as the 37th best wide receiver by and was invited to the NFL combine, where he completed the entire workout and all the positional drills.[26][27] Brown participated at Central Michigan's Pro Day and decided to try to improve on his 10, 20, and 40-yard dash times after being unsatisfied with the numbers he clocked at the combine. He was able to improve his time in all three categories.[28]

Pre-draft measurables
Ht Wt Arm length Hand size 40-yard dash 10-yd split 20-yd split 20-ss 3-cone Vert jump Broad BP
5 ft  in
(1.78 m)
186 lb
(84 kg)
31 in
(0.79 m)
9 in
(0.23 m)
(0.85 m)
8 ft 9 in
(2.67 m)
All results from the 2010 NFL Combine [29]

Using a pick received in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals, the Pittsburgh Steelers selected him in the sixth round (195th overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft.[30] He was the 22nd of 27 wide receivers selected in the draft, and the second by the Pittsburgh Steelers behind Emmanuel Sanders.[31] He picked the jersey number 84, which he explained: "Eight times four is 32. Thirty-two teams looked past me, even the Steelers. So every time I go out there it's a little added motivation."[32]

Pittsburgh Steelers

2010 season

On June 15, 2010, the Pittsburgh Steelers signed Brown to a three-year, $1.28 million contract with a signing bonus of $73,075.[33]

He entered training camp competing with Emmanuel Sanders, Tyler Grisham, Stefan Logan, Isaiah Williams, and Brandon Logan to be the Steelers' backup wide receivers.[34] Brown was named the Steelers' fifth wide receiver on their depth chart, behind veterans Hines Ward, Mike Wallace, Antwaan Randle El, and Arnaz Battle.[35]

On September 19, 2010, Brown made his regular season debut against the Tennessee Titans and returned two kickoffs and a punt for 128 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown from a reverse on the first play of the game.[36] On October 3, Brown made his first career catch for a six-yard gain during a 17-14 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.[37] During a Week 17 contest against the Cleveland Browns, Brown made a season-high four catches for 52 yards in a 41-9 victory.[38] He finished his rookie season with 16 receptions for 167 yards in ten games.[39]

The Steelers finished the 2010 season with a 12-4 record and finished first in the AFC North.[40] On January 15, 2011, Brown appeared in his first postseason game and caught a 58-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger to set up the game-winning touchdown. He finished his first playoff game with a season-high 75 yards on three receptions as the Steelers defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Divisional Round, 31-24.[41] The following week in the AFC Championship against the New York Jets, at the two-minute warning, Brown caught a 14-yard pass on 3rd & 6, sealing the 24-19 victory for the Steelers and advancing them to Super Bowl XLV.[42] In his first Super Bowl, Brown handled four kickoff returns, four punt returns, and finished with one catch for a one-yard gain in the 31-25 loss to the Green Bay Packers.[43][44]

2011 season

Brown in 2011

Brown entered training camp competing with Emmanuel Sanders, Arnaz Battle, Limas Sweed, and Jerricho Cotchery to be the Steelers' third wide receiver after the departure of Antwaan Randle El. He won the competition and was named the third wide receiver on the depth chart behind Hines Ward and Mike Wallace. Brown was also named the starting kick returner and punt returner.[45]

Brown made his first appearance of the season in the Steelers' season-opener against the Baltimore Ravens and finished with two receptions for 14 yards and had three kickoff returns for 34 yards in a 35-7 loss.[46] On October 30, Brown had a season-high nine receptions for 67 yards and caught his first career touchdown reception on a seven-yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger in a 25-17 victory over the New England Patriots.[47] The next game, he caught five passes for 109 yards, marking his first career game with over 100 receiving yards, in a 23-20 loss to the Ravens.[48] On November 13, he earned his first career start and made five receptions for 86 yards in a 24-17 defeat of the Cincinnati Bengals.[49] On December 4, he returned a punt for a 60-yard touchdown and made two catches for 67 yards, as the Steelers routed the Bengals 35-7.[50] The punt return for a touchdown was the first in his career and Brown was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance.[51] In a Week 14 win over the Cleveland Browns, he made his second start of the season and ended the game with five catches for a season-high 151-yards and scored a season-long 79-yard touchdown in a 14-3 victory.[52] He finished the season with 69 receptions for 1,108 yards and two touchdown receptions in 16 games and three starts.[43]

The Steelers finished 12-4 and received a playoff berth. On January 8, 2012, Brown caught five passes for 70 yards and had one carry for 18 yards in a 29-23 overtime loss to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Wild Card Round.[53]

Brown became the first player in NFL history to have more than 1,000 yards receiving and returning in the same year. For his efforts, Brown was selected as a punt returner for the 2012 Pro Bowl. In his first Pro Bowl, Brown caught two passes for 15 yards, helping the AFC defeat the NFC 59-41.[43][54]

2012 season

On July 28, 2012, the Steelers signed Brown to a five-year, $42.5 million extension that included an $8.5 million signing bonus.[55]

With the retirement of Hines Ward during the off season, Brown entered training camp competing with Mike Wallace and Emmanuel Sanders to be the starting wide receivers. Brown and Wallace were subsequently named the starters at the position to begin the regular season.[56] In December 2018, former Steelers safety Ryan Clark claimed that during a practice in 2012, Brown started shouting at defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau and began yelling at players on the defense, saying, "Don't touch me. I'm the franchise."[57] In the Steelers' season opener against the Denver Broncos, Brown finished the 31-19 loss with four receptions for 74 yards.[58] On September 23, Brown had seven receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown against the Oakland Raiders.[59]

On November 4, Brown was fined $10,000 by the NFL for unsportsmanlike conduct when he ran backwards for the final 20 yards of a punt return touchdown the previous week.[60] The following game, Brown suffered a high ankle sprain and left the game. The ankle injury prevented him from appearing in the next three games.[61] In a Week 15 matchup with the Dallas Cowboys, he made a season-high eight catches for 76 yards and a touchdown in a 27-24 loss.[62] The following week, Brown caught five passes for a season-high 97 yards and scored a 60-yard touchdown in a 13-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals.[63] He finished the 2012 season with 66 receptions for 787 yards and five touchdowns in 13 games and ten starts.[64]

2013 season

Brown being pursued by cornerback Coty Sensabaugh in a 2013 game against the Tennessee Titans

Brown entered the 2013 regular season as one of the Steelers' starting wide receivers with Emmanuel Sanders.[65]

Brown started the Steelers' season opener against the Tennessee Titans and had five receptions for 71 yards in a 16-9 loss.[66] On September 22, Brown caught nine passes for a season-high and then career-high 196 yards and two touchdowns in a 40-23 loss to the Chicago Bears.[67][68] The following game, he caught a season-high 12 passes for 88 yards in a 34-27 loss to the Minnesota Vikings.[43][69]

On December 22, Brown broke Yancey Thigpen's single-season team record of 1,398 receiving yards set in 1997.[70] Brown also became the second Steeler to amass at least 100 receptions in a season, joining former teammate Hines Ward.[71] On December 29, he, along with Pierre Garçon of the Washington Redskins, tied Jimmy Smith as the only players to record at least five receptions in every game of an NFL season. In addition, Brown became the only receiver in NFL history to record five receptions and at least 50 yards in every game of an NFL season.[72] He finished the 2013 season with a total of 110 receptions for 1,499 yards and eight touchdowns.[43] On December 27, 2013, Brown was selected for the Pro Bowl as a receiver and a punt returner.[73] On January 3, 2014, Brown was named to the AP All-Pro team for the first time in his career.[74] He was ranked 23rd by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2014.[75][76]

2014 season

In the Steelers' season opener against the Cleveland Browns, while returning a punt, Brown attempted to hurdle Cleveland Browns punter Spencer Lanning and kicked him in the facemask, garnering significant media attention.[77] He finished the 30-27 victory with five receptions for 116 yards and later apologized for the kick, calling it an accident.[78] On Brown was fined $8,200 for the kick.[79] On October 20, Brown threw his first career touchdown pass, a three-yard strike to wide receiver Lance Moore.[80] The following game, Brown caught ten passes for 133 yards and two touchdowns in a victory over the Indianapolis Colts.[81] During a Week 9 contest against the Baltimore Ravens, Brown made a season-high 11 catches for a season-high 144 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown reception.[43] In Week 17, against the Cincinnati Bengals, he had seven receptions for 128 yards and a touchdown to go along with a 71-yard punt return touchdown.[82] His successful performance earned him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[83] In 2014, Brown led the NFL in receptions (129), receiving yards (1,698), and was tied for second in touchdowns (13); all three were new team records.[84] The Steelers made the playoffs and faced off against the Ravens in the Wild Card Round.[85] In the 30-17 loss, he had nine receptions for 117 yards.[86] His successful season garnered him a third Pro Bowl selection.[87] He was ranked eighth by his fellow players on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2015.[88][89]

2015 season

Brown against the Baltimore Ravens in 2015

Brown started in the Steelers' season-opening 28-21 loss to the New England Patriots and caught nine passes for 133 yards and a touchdown.[90] The following week, he had nine receptions for 195 yards and a touchdown, in a win over the San Francisco 49ers.[91] This brought his career total to 5,587 yards, good for 200th on the NFL's all-time receiving yards list. He also moved past Steelers' legend Lynn Swann on the all-time list. On November 8, Brown caught a career-high 17 passes for a career-high 284 yards in a win over the Oakland Raiders.[92] His 284 receiving yards broke Keenan McCardell's mark of 232 in 1996 for most receiving yards in a game without a receiving touchdown.[93] On December 6, he caught eight passes for 118 yards and two touchdowns in a win over the Indianapolis Colts.[94] This game is particularly notable for a play in which Brown returned a punt for a touchdown and then proceeded to leap onto the goalpost. He was flagged on the play for excessive celebration. On December 9, Brown was fined $11,576 by the NFL for the incident.[95] For his efforts against the Colts, he earned his third career AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award.[96] In a Week 15 win over the Denver Broncos, he caught 16 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns.[97] For his performance against the Broncos, he was named as the AFC Offensive Player of the Week.[98]

On January 3, Brown totaled 13 receptions for 187 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Cleveland Browns. He finished the regular season with a league-high 136 receptions for 1,834 yards and 10 touchdowns[99] - the first two marks surpassing his own team records of 129 catches and 1,698 yards. He also set the record for most receptions in a two-year span with 265 from 2014-15; and most receptions in a three-year span with 375 from 2013-15. With his 16 receptions against the Browns, Brown became the first receiver to have two 16+ catch games in a single season, and his four games of 175+ yards in a season also set a new NFL record.[100][101]

The Steelers opened postseason play with a Wild Card game against the Cincinnati Bengals, and late in the fourth quarter, Brown left the contest with a concussion after taking a hit from Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict. The Steelers went on to win the game, 18-16.[102] The injury kept Brown out of the Steelers' next game in the Divisional Round, where they lost 23-16 to the eventual Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos.[103]

Brown was named to his third consecutive and fourth career Pro Bowl, his second first-team All-Pro, and was ranked as the top wide receiver and the fourth best player on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2016.[104][105][106]

2016 season

Brown started the Steelers' season opener against the Washington Redskins and finished the 38-16 victory with eight receptions for 126 yards and two touchdowns.[107] After the game, the NFL fined him a combined $15,191 for wearing baby blue cleats, which violated the league's uniform policy, and for twerking after scoring his second touchdown.[108][109] After performing a similar dance in the end zone in Week 4 against the Kansas City Chiefs, Brown was fined $24,309.[110] The second fine was largely criticized by sportswriters, who considered it much too steep a penalty for a celebration.[110][111][112] The league reasoned that the dances were "sexually suggestive".[113]

In Week 3, Brown moved into the NFL top 100 all-time for career receptions,[114] and in Week 9, he joined the top 100 for career receiving yards. In Week 10, Brown caught a season-high 14 passes for a season-high 154 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Dallas Cowboys.[115] In Week 12, he finished with five receptions for 91 yards and a career-high three touchdown receptions, as the Steelers defeated the Indianapolis Colts on Thanksgiving.[116] He finished the regular season with 106 receptions (second in the NFL to Larry Fitzgerald) for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games.[117] The Steelers decided to sit him for the season finale against the Cleveland Browns as they had already clinched a playoff berth.[43] At the conclusion of the 2016 regular season, Brown ranked second in career receptions and third in career receiving yards for the Steelers franchise, and 57th and 78th all-time among NFL players in those categories.

In the 2016 season, Brown posted his fourth consecutive and fifth career 1,000+ yard season in receiving yards, earning him his fourth consecutive and fifth career Pro Bowl selection on December 20, 2016.[118] He was also named First Team All-Pro for the third consecutive time.[119] He was also ranked fourth by his peers on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[120]

On January 8, Brown caught five passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-12 victory over the Miami Dolphins in their AFC Wild Card Round game.[121] His two touchdowns of 50 and 62 yards were the first time since 2001 that a player had caught two 50+ yard touchdowns in a single post-season game,[122] the first time ever in the first quarter,[123] and the first time a Steeler had two receiving touchdowns in a Wild Card game.[124] In the Divisional Round, Brown caught six passes for 108 yards in an 18-16 win over the Chiefs, becoming the third Steeler with four or more 100-yard receiving playoff games.[125] After the game, Brown broadcast the team's locker room celebration on Facebook Live in violation of NFL rules and despite the requests of teammates Ben Roethlisberger and Ramon Foster to "keep a low profile on social media". The broadcast included head coach Mike Tomlin speaking crudely about championship round opponent New England, for which Tomlin later apologized and disciplined Brown.[126] Brown had been paid $244,000 by Facebook before the season to "create content" for live channels.[127] In the AFC Championship against the Patriots, Brown had seven receptions for 77 yards as the Steelers lost 36-17.[128] For his accomplishments in the 2017 season, he was ranked fourth on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2017.[129][130]

2017 season

On February 27, 2017, Brown signed a new five-year contract with the Steelers through the 2021 season. The contract was a four-year extension worth $68 million ($19 million guaranteed at signing) with a $17 million annual salary, making Brown the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL.[131][132]

In a Week 1 win over the Cleveland Browns, Brown recorded 182 receiving yards on 11 receptions as the Steelers.[133] Brown's 182 receiving yards led all NFL receivers for the season opening week.[134] In addition, Brown caught all 11 of his targets, which marked a career-high in terms of receptions with a 100% completion rate.[135] During a week 4 win over the Ravens, Brown became angry over not being thrown the ball by Roethlisberger on an incomplete play, and was filmed throwing a Gatorade cooler and yelling at coaches.[136] In a Week 11 win over the Tennessee Titans, Brown made a one-handed catch adjacent to his helmet in the end zone for a touchdown. Overall, he had 10 receptions for 144 yards and three touchdowns.[137][138] joining John Stallworth as the only Steelers player with two career games with 3+ receiving touchdowns.[139] For his performance in Week 11, Brown was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week.[140] In a Week 12 win over the Green Bay Packers, Brown had 169 receiving yards and two touchdowns, including two sideline receptions for 37 yards in the final 17 seconds to set up the game-winning field goal.[141] He became the fifth player since the 1970 merger with four 150+ yard receiving games in the first 12 weeks of a season.[142] Plagued with a minor toe injury,[143] In Week 14 against the Ravens, Brown finished with a season-high 213 receiving yards, helping the Steelers win 39-38 and clinch the AFC North title.[144] His 213-yard performance marked the second time in his career with at least 200 receiving yards in a single game.[145] During Week 15 against the New England Patriots, Brown left the game with a left calf injury, and was taken to the hospital. Shortly after the Steelers' 27-24 loss to the AFC East-clinching Patriots, it was revealed that Brown's left calf was partially torn, meaning that he would not play for the rest of the regular season, but would return during the playoffs.[146] He returned in the Divisional Round of the playoffs, recording seven catches for 132 yards and two touchdowns as the Steelers went on to lose 45-42 to the Jaguars.[147]

Brown finished the 2017 season with a league-leading 1,533 receiving yards. This was the second time in his career he led the league in receiving yards. He also finished fifth in the league with 101 receptions and tied for fourth in the league with nine touchdown receptions.[148] He was named to his sixth Pro Bowl, and was named first-team All-Pro as a unanimous selection.[149][150] He was ranked the second best player, as well as the best wide receiver, on the NFL Top 100 Players of 2018.[151]

2018 season

Antonio Brown in 2018

On September 9, 2018, in the season opener against the Cleveland Browns, Brown reached 10,000 career receiving yards. He achieved the milestone in 116 career games; only two NFL players have reached the mark in fewer games (Calvin Johnson in 115 games and Julio Jones in 104 games).[152] In the game, Brown had nine catches for 93 yards and a touchdown.[153] In Week 5 against the Atlanta Falcons, Brown had six catches for 101 yards and two touchdowns.[154] In Week 6 against the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown had five catches for 105 yards and caught the game-winning touchdown with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter.[155] Brown was also a victim of a dirty hit from Vontaze Burfict in the game.[156] In Week 11, against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Brown had five receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown in a narrow victory.[157] In Week 13, he had 10 receptions for 154 yards and a touchdown in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.[158] During Week 16 against the New Orleans Saints, Brown finished with 185 receiving yards and two touchdowns.[159] Overall, Brown finished the 2018 season with 104 receptions for 1,297 and a career-high 15 touchdowns.[160]

After allegedly getting into an argument with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, then skipping practices leading up to the week 17 game against the Cincinnati Bengals, Brown was benched for that game.[161] Following the season, reports surfaced indicating Brown's dissatisfaction with his role on the Steelers, and he eventually requested a trade.[162]

Oakland Raiders

On March 9, 2019, the Steelers agreed to trade Brown to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for a third and a fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft. The deal became official on March 13, 2019.[163] Prior to the trade to Oakland, reports surfaced that the Steelers were "close to a deal" with the Buffalo Bills, but that the deal was cancelled after Brown protested on social media.[164]

In Brown's introductory press conference with the Raiders, he said "I'm here to elevate everything around me. I'm here to just be a surge of energy, of positivity, and good force. A great teammate and to bring out the best of everyone around me cause we all know it's not just about me."[165] On August 3, Brown posted a picture of his heavily blistered feet on Instagram, which was later revealed to be frostbites to his feet due to not wearing proper footwear during a cryotherapy session. Brown's injury forced him to miss 10 out of 11 training camp practices with the Raiders.[166]

On August 9, he filed a grievance to continue wearing his old helmet even though it was banned, threatening to retire from football if he was forced to wear a new helmet. Despite Brown's pleas to continue wearing his old helmet, an arbitrator denied his request.[167] Brown eventually found a replacement for his old helmet, but it also did not meet the NFL's standards. Afterwards, he continued to not practice with the Raiders.[168] Brown filed a second grievance regarding his helmet on August 19, which he also lost.[169][170][171] On September 4, Brown chose to wear the Xenith Shadow helmet for the 2019 season.[172]

On September 4, Brown was fined a combined $54,000 by general manager Mike Mayock due to unexcused absences and missing two team practice sessions.[173] Brown posted the letter of his fines on Instagram, a move that was scrutinized around the league. The following day, Brown confronted Mayock and had a verbal altercation, with reports stating that Brown called Mayock a "cracker", which Brown later denied. It was also reported that Brown threatened to hit Mayock, and had to be held back by several teammates, including linebacker Vontaze Burfict. Afterwards, he punted a football and said to Mayock "fine me for that".[174][175]

On September 6, Brown showed up at a Raiders' team meeting and made an emotional apology for his actions.[176] When head coach Jon Gruden was asked if Brown would play in Week 1 against the Denver Broncos, he replied "That's the plan. Yes."[177] Later that day, Brown read a 20-second statement that read "I'm excited to be out here today. I apologized to my teammates and the organization. Enough talk, man. I'm excited to be out here with my teammates. I'm grateful for all the fans. I'm excited to be a part of the Raiders and see you guys soon."[178]

However, less than a day later on September 7, Brown demanded his release from the Raiders after they voided the guaranteed money in his contract.[179] Brown was released by the Raiders later that day, just hours before his 2019 salary would have become guaranteed.[180] Prior to his release, the Raiders fined Brown $215,000 due to his altercation with Mayock.[181]

New England Patriots

Brown in his lone game with the Patriots

On September 7, 2019, the same day he was released by the Raiders, Brown agreed to a one-year contract with the New England Patriots worth up to $15 million, with a $9 million signing bonus.[182] Additionally, on September 9, the Patriots added a second-year option in Brown's contract in which he would receive $20 million if picked up.[183]

Despite allegations of sexual and personal misconduct levied against him, Brown practiced with the Patriots in preparation for his season debut in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins.[184] Brown officially made his Patriots debut in Week 2, catching 4 passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win.[185] On September 20, following further allegations, in addition to allegedly intimidating text messages sent to one of his accusers after going to New England, Brown was cut by the Patriots.[186]

NFL career statistics

Led the league
Bold Career high
Regular season
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Tgt Rec Yards Avg TD Lng Att Yards Avg TD Lng Fum Lost
2010 PIT 9 0 19 16 167 10.4 0 26 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2011 PIT 16 3 123 69 1,108 16.1 2 79T 7 41 5.9 0 10 0 0
2012 PIT 13 10 105 66 787 11.9 5 60T 7 24 3.4 0 13 4 2
2013 PIT 16 14 165 110 1,499 13.6 8 56 7 4 0.6 0 10 1 0
2014 PIT 16 16 182 129 1,698 13.2 13 63T 4 13 3.3 0 9 2 2
2015 PIT 16 16 195 136 1,834 13.5 10 59 3 28 9.3 0 16 3 2
2016 PIT 15 15 155 106 1,284 12.1 12 51 3 9 3.0 0 13 0 0
2017 PIT 14 14 140 101 1,533 15.2 9 51T 0 0 0 0 0 3 0
2018 PIT 15 15 168 104 1,297 12.5 15 78T 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019 NE 1 0 8 4 56 14.0 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 131 103 1,279 841 11,263 13.4 75 79T 31 119 3.8 0 16 14 6
Year Team Games Receiving Rushing Fumbles
GP GS Tgt Rec Yards Avg TD Lng Att Yards Avg TD Lng Fum Lost
2010 PIT 3 0 8 5 90 18.0 0 58 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2011 PIT 1 0 7 5 70 14.0 0 25 1 18 18.0 0 18 0 0
2014 PIT 1 1 14 9 117 13.0 0 44 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2015 PIT 1 1 12 7 119 17.0 0 60 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2016 PIT 3 3 29 18 309 17.2 2 62 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2017 PIT 1 1 11 7 132 18.9 2 43 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 10 6 81 51 837 16.4 4 62 1 18 18.0 0 18 0 0

Personal life

Brown is the father of four sons and a daughter.[187] In 2018, he was featured in recording artist Drake's music video for "God's Plan".[188] On July 18, 2018, Brown was announced as the cover athlete for Madden NFL 19.[189] In September 2019, Brown re-enrolled for online classes at his alma mater, Central Michigan University.[190]

He is also the cousin of Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Marquise Brown, who was drafted in 2019.[191]

Off-the-field controversies

During and before the 2018 season, Brown was embroiled in numerous incidents in addition to causing drama within the Steelers organization. This included tossing furniture out of his apartment window in April, nearly hitting a 22-month old child on the patio below,[192] and getting cited for speeding in excess of over 100 mph along a suburban highway.[193] Brown was later sued for the April incident.[194]

On September 10, 2019, Brown's former trainer Britney Taylor filed a lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted her three times. She claimed that he exposed himself to her, ejaculated on her back, and finally raped her. Brown and his legal team denied the allegations.[195][196] On September 16, a second woman accused him of sexual misconduct. Pittsburgh-based Dr. Victor Prisk, who Brown worked with while with the Steelers, also sued Brown for $11,500 in unpaid fees.[197]

Dancing with the Stars

On March 8, 2016, Brown was announced as one of the celebrities who competed on season 22 of Dancing with the Stars. He was paired with professional dancer Sharna Burgess.[198] Brown and Burgess were eliminated during the semifinals of the show and finished the competition in fourth place overall.[199]

The Masked Singer

On January 3, 2019, Brown took part on the first season of the American version of The Masked Singer. He competed in the show wearing "The Hippo" costume and sang "My Prerogative" by Bobby Brown before being eliminated in the first episode.[200]

See also


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External links

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