Brown: Bucs offered me $200K to seek mental health treatment
Antonio Brown said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers offered him money to undergo mental health treatment to avoid backlash for demanding he plays injured.
"These guys at Tampa Bay Bucs 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," Brown told HBO's Bryant Gumbel in an interview set to air Tuesday evening. "These guys aren't professional, they treated me wrong."
The Buccaneers cut Brown before the end of the regular season after he walked off the field during a game against the New York Jets. Brown claimed his ankle wasn't healthy enough to play, while Bucs head coach Bruce Arians asserted the wide receiver was upset with his target share that afternoon.
"(I'm) not worried about the ball," said Brown, who was interviewed alongside his lawyer. "Tom Brady is my guy, he's the reason I'm on Tampa Bay, so I know I'm gonna get the ball."
Brown missed several games with an ankle injury before returning Dec. 26 against the Carolina Panthers. He said the Buccaneers gave him Toradol injections to help manage the pain for as long as he could.
His attorney, Sean Burstyn, said he has evidence of the Buccaneers offering to pay Brown to undergo "intensive mental health treatment."
"The offer was Antonio would basically sit on the sidelines, go on some list, and commit himself to some form of intensive mental health treatment," he said. "And we were specifically told in writing by the general manager twice, 'Don't spin this any other way.'"
When asked if he believes he needs any kind of help with his mental health, Brown said he possesses "mental wealth."
"I know a lot of people may not understand me ... or don't know how I react to emotional things, but it's not for them to understand me," he said. "I got a beautiful family, kids, and people across the world that look up to me. It's no reason I'm in this situation at this point."
Brown joined the Buccaneers midway through the 2020 campaign and helped them win Super Bowl LV. The seven-time Pro Bowler has bounced between the Las Vegas Raiders, New England Patriots, and Bucs since requesting a trade from the Pittsburgh Steelers at the end of the 2018 season.
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