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Antonio Brown, who angrily exits MetLife Stadium, is ‘no longer a Buc’

The controversial receiver rips off his jersey and leaves the sideline in an apparent huff.
Bucs receiver Antonio Brown had three catches Sunday before his untimely exit from the MetLife Stadium field.
Bucs receiver Antonio Brown had three catches Sunday before his untimely exit from the MetLife Stadium field. [ ANDREW MILLS | NJ Advance Media ]
Published Jan. 2|Updated Jan. 3

Antonio Brown’s turbulent tenure as a Buccaneer is over.

Fox cameras captured the controversial veteran receiver exiting the MetLife Stadium field in an apparent huff — minus pads or even his jersey — late in the third quarter of Sunday’s game against the Jets. Brown was seen tossing an undershirt and his gloves into the stands as he departed.

“He is no longer a Buc,” Coach Bruce Arians told reporters immediately after his team’s 28-24 come-from-behind triumph. “That’s the end of the story. Let’s talk about the guys who went out there and won the game.”

The Bucs’ official radio network reported Brown had been benched by Arians just before the episode, but Fox’s NFL insider Jay Glazer said Arians tried to get Brown to go back into the game and he refused.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Fox analyst (and former Cowboys fullback) Daryl Johnston said. “I’ve been affiliated with the NFL for over 30 years, and I have never seen anything like that in those 30 years.”

Brown had three catches on five targets for 26 yards upon his departure.

In his first game back since his three-game suspension for misrepresenting his vaccination status, Brown sparkled (10 catches, 101 yards) in last week’s 32-6 road triumph against the Panthers. Afterward, he accused reporters of “creating drama” in reporting his off-field malfeasance.

“That’s obviously a difficult situation,” quarterback Tom Brady, highly influential in the team’s signing of Brown more than 13 months ago, said afterward.

“I think everybody should ... hopefully do what they can to help him in ways that he really needs it. We all love him, we care about him deeply. We want to see him at his best, and unfortunately it won’t be with our team.”

Brown left as much as $1 million in performance incentives on the table, according to spotrac.com

He had 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns this season. Based on the one-year deal he signed in May, he would have earned a $333,333 performance incentive with 50 catches, another $333,333 for 600 yards, and yet another for five TDs.

Newest Bucs tailback Le’Veon Bell, a teammate of Brown for six seasons (2013-2018) in Pittsburgh, said he traded texts with his close friend after the game.

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“You won’t hear me talking bad about AB at all,” Bell said.

“I obviously understand things happen, but he’s one of my closest friends. ... Overall good person. Obviously some bad decision-making sometimes, but he’s human. He’s not perfect, and we’ll continue to move on without him and keep moving forward.”

• • •

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