Bucs coach hopes Brown gets 'help' after sacking

·2-min read
Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown shortly before being sacked by the team after Sunday's win against the New York Jets (AFP/ELSA) (ELSA)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said Monday he hopes Antonio Brown "gets help" if needed after the star wide receiver was dramatically fired following an on-field meltdown.

Brown's NFL career was left hanging in the balance after the reigning Super Bowl champions abruptly sacked the 33-year-old receiver following the team's win over the New York Jets on Sunday.

Brown was axed after storming off the field following a discussion with Arians. Brown removed his jersey and pads and waved to fans as he marched back to the locker room.

It was the latest turbulent episode in the veteran receiver's career, which in recent years has seen him settle civil lawsuit allegations of rape and earlier this season included a three-game suspension for using a fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination card.

Arians, who on Sunday confirmed Brown was "no longer a Buc", declined to go into detail about the events leading to the receiver's exit from Sunday's game.

"It's pretty obvious what happened," Arians said Monday. "He left the field and that was it...We had a conversation and he left the field.

"It was very hard. I wish him well. I hope if he needs help, get some. It's very hard because I do care about him."

Arians meanwhile said he was unaware of suggestions that Brown was nursing an ankle injury and had requested not to enter the game.

"I don't know that he was (injured)," Arians said.

Brown joined the Buccaneers in October 2020 soon after completing an eight-week suspension for multiple violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

He missed almost the entirety of the 2019 season after being fired from the New England Patriots after just one appearance.

His short lived career with the Patriots followed a chaotic stint with the Oakland Raiders, who he joined from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March 2019 but left six months later without ever playing a game.

The Buccaneers raised eyebrows across the NFL after offering Brown a path back into the sport in 2020, a move that was welcomed by quarterback Tom Brady.

Only last month, Arians brushed off criticism of Tampa Bay's willingness to welcome Brown back following his fake Covid-19 vaccination card suspension.

"All I care about is this football team and what's best for us," Arians said.

On Monday, Arians insisted he had no regrets about signing Brown.

"I have no regrets, I just hope the best for him," Arians said.

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