Antonio Brown faces potential discipline from Raiders

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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Antonio Brown is back in the news. And he might be off the field again.

The Raiders are planning to discipline the wide receiver stemming from a verbal altercation with general manager Mike Mayock, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday, via sources informed of the situation.

Oakland does not expect to have Brown with the team for its season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday night, Rapoport added. It's not clear whether Brown will be suspended or inactive for the game.

Rapoport reported that Mayock was frustrated with Brown for posting a fine letter on Instagram on Wednesday, with the two getting into a heated exchange on the practice field later the same day that was witnessed by players.

Things did not get physical, per Rapoport, but after a screaming match, Brown told Mayock that he would hit him in the face, and then he punted a football before telling the GM to fine him for that.

A suspension for detrimental conduct could affect Brown's $30 million in guarantees, according to Rapoport.

ESPN first reported the news of potential discipline.

Mayock told reporters Brown wouldn't practice Thursday and wasn't at the team facility.

"I don't have any more information," he said. "When we do, I'll get it to you. That's it for today."

Later Thursday, the Raiders injury report listed Brown as not participating and as "not injury related -- conduct."

"Not a lot is clear yet other than that the Raiders say that A.B. should stay home today," Brown's agent Drew Rosenhaus told NFL Network's Stacey Dales in an interview about Brown's situation. "They're trying to work through their relationship with him. We haven't heard anything about a potential decision yet.

"My hope is there won't be a suspension. I'm not aware of any as of yet. That's their decision. I'm working with them to try and avoid that scenario."

On Wednesday, Brown took to social media to publish a letter from the Raiders stating he was being fined $13,950 because of an "unexcused" absence from a walk-through on Aug. 22 and noted he was "previously fined $40,000 for missing Raiders' preseason training camp" on Aug. 18.

A.B.'s post included the following response superimposed on a screenshot of the note: "When your own team want to hate but there's no stopping me now devil is a lie. Everyone got to pay this year so we clear."

"If the team suspends him for conduct detrimental, they can prove it, they show that this is not a one-time occurrence that this was something that's happened several times," Rapoport said on NFL NOW. "He could lose his guaranteed money -- $30 million, potentially allowing the Raiders to move on from his contract. Obviously this has been a nightmare offseason for the Raiders and Antonio Brown and it sounds like it's gotten worse."

NFL Network's Mike Silver reported the situation between the Raiders and Brown might be unsalvageable.

"It started with, 'Wow, this guy's a little out there but we can manage it,'" Silver explained on NFL NOW. "Then it was, 'We have a problem but if we're really, really nice to him and we just tell him that we're on his side he'll be OK.' Then they went the good cop/bad cop, with Mike Mayock obviously playing the bad cop. I can not see this at this point being salvageable. This is a situation where you have one player adhering to a completely different set of rules in multiple areas. ...

"Look at the Raiders' history for decades. You think they'll go after the money? I think it's a pretty good bet that if this degenerates like the way I think it will, they will absolutely try to get every dollar back that they can from Antonio Brown."

The Raiders host the Broncos on Monday night. While it is unlikely Brown will be on the field, the receiver still wants to join the Raiders eventually, according to his agent.

"I believe he wants to be an Oakland Raider," Rosenhaus said. "I believe he wants to play. I believe he's going to have a great season. I believe some things that have happened were outside of his control. The foot injury was not his doing. The helmet, we tried to address that professionally. We got it worked out.

"I think moving forward everything can work out. We've had some bumps in the road, but he's had an incredible career. We had some setbacks recently but I'm confident we can get back to doing the great things that the Raiders signed him to do. That's my intention. That's my job."

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