Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY
Published 2:38 p.m. ET Dec. 31, 2019 | Updated 6:02 p.m. ET Dec. 31, 2019
Free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown, again, spouted off on social media. And this time, he targeted a potential future employer.
One week after the New Orleans Saints brought Brown in for a workout, Brown posted a video during a live Instagram in which he called the workout a “publicity stunt” and called out Saints coach Sean Payton and the NFL, too.
“I know I got a really crusty tone lately,” Brown said in the video posted last Monday night. “But really I’m at peace. I just don’t like the lack of respect in the world. You know, everyone has deadlines. I guess the NFL don’t have a deadline for me, so. I appreciate Sean Payton and them guys for supporting me and bringing me out to work out. But I think it was a publicity stunt for them.
“Sean Payton know the feeling of being left behind, not being able to interact with his team. I don’t have a team. But it is what it is. We don’t seek comfort. We don’t make excuses. I’mma just keep committing to be the difference. ‘Cause I know I’m the difference.”
AB says the Saints bringing him in for a workout was a “publicity stunt” and Sean Payton knows “the film that being left behind” pic.twitter.com/C3ddwacfv4
— B/R Gridiron (@brgridiron) December 31, 2019
During the video, Brown appears to be on a treadmill and is speaking directly into the camera.
Brown’s comments are curious, considering multiple reports that he brought a camera crew to the Saints workout, despite the team asking him not to do so.
Brown, 31, has had a tumultuous year. After forcing his way out of Pittsburgh, the Steelers traded him to the Oakland Raiders, where he signed a three-year $50 million contract. Then, after skipping multiple practices and meetings during training camp, in part as he recovered from burns to his feet after an accident during a cryotherapy session, general manager Mike Mayock issued several statements saying the team needed Brown to be “all in.”
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Brown also launched a battle against the NFL, seeking to wear a helmet that had been declared obsolete by both the league and the NFL Players Association, through the National Operating Committee for Standards of Athletic Equipment.
A Sports Illustrated investigation revealed incidents of an alleged sexual assault and harassment against victims. One day after Brown allegedly sent threatening messages to one of the women, the Patriots cut him.
The NFL announced that it would investigate Brown under the personal conduct policy, an inquiry that remains ongoing.
Brown’s “Payton know the feeling of being left behind” is a likely reference to Payton’s suspension for the entire 2012 season for his role in the Bountygate scandal.