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An Apology May Have Saved Him $30M

Raiders player Antonio Brown offers mea culpa for run-in with owner
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2019 4:20 PM CDT
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The Oakland Raiders' Antonio Brown walks off the field Aug. 20 after practice in Alameda, California.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)

(Newser) – With as much as $30 million at stake, star receiver Antonio Brown apologized to the Oakland Raiders on Friday and is good to go in the team's season opener. Brown had confronted the team's general manager at practice Wednesday over the fines the Raiders levied for sitting out because he refused to wear an NFL-approved helmet, the Ringer reports. Brown cussed Mike Mayock and called him "a cracker," per ESPN. On Friday, the Raiders' captains stood with Brown at a team meeting as he issued what a team source called "an emotional apology." It's over, in a good way, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters later Friday. There will be no suspension, per SFGate. "Antonio's back today," Gruden said, per CBS. "We're really excited about that. Ready to move on." Brown will start Monday when the Raiders play the Denver Broncos, Gruden said.

A suspension could put $30 million in guaranteed money from the Raiders at risk. The lack of guaranteed money is the reason Brown wanted to be traded from Pittsburgh after last season. NFL contracts can call for salaries that are never actually paid, per the Ringer; only the guaranteed money is real. The Steelers don't guarantee money in multiyear contracts, which is why Brown launched a public campaign for a trade. "I ain’t doing no more unguaranteed money," he said in February. If the Raiders suspended Brown over the confrontation, causing him to miss games, guarantees in his new contract could have been voided. After the apology, Gruden said Brown "had a lot of time to think about things." (Read more NFL stories.)

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