The Oakland Raiders released disgruntled star receiver Antonio Brown on Saturday before he ever played a game for the team. The Raiders made the move just hours after Brown requested his release in the latest turn in a dramatic first summer with the team, per the AP. Brown was upset about his latest team fine over an outburst at practice at general manager Mike Mayock. That fine allowed the Raiders to void more than $29 million in guarantees over the next two years in Brown's contract. Oakland instead decided to cut ties entirely. The Raiders had been counting heavily Brown after trading a third and fifth-round pick to Pittsburgh for the game's most prolific receiver in March. They also gave him a new three-year contract worth $50.1 million that now is void following the release.
"Now that Antonio is a free agent, we are focused on the future and I will immediately work on signing him to a new team," agent Drew Rosenhaus said. "Antonio is looking forward to a new beginning." The final twist to this melodrama in Oakland comes a day after Brown returned to the team following a one-day banishment and apologized in a meeting and in a brief public statement. Coach Jon Gruden said the plan was for Brown to play in the opener Monday night against Denver, but that changed after Brown requested and was granted his release. "I'm not mad at anyone," Brown wrote on Instagram. "I'm just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong." A person familiar with the situation said Brown had been fined by the team Friday for the confrontation with Mayock in practice two days earlier. ESPN reported the new fine was for $215,073.
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