Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers managed to defeat the New York Jets on a game-winning drive orchestrated by Brady himself in Week 17. That, however, won't be the main talking point from the game, if it even gets mentioned at all.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown had an outburst on the sideline that saw him remove his uniform and gear and head to the locker room in the middle of a drive in the third quarter. He also waved goodbye to the fans looking on in awe. After the game, Brady weighed in on the bizarre situation, urging Buccaneers fans to show compassion to AB (via The Athletic's Greg Auman).
Tom Brady on Antonio Brown: "That's obviously a difficult situation. … We all love him and care about him deeply." Said relationships will go beyond being teammates. "I think everyone should be compassionate and empathetic toward some very difficult things."
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) January 2, 2022
Brown's erratic behavior was reportedly the result of the wide receiver being benched by head coach Bruce Arians. His antics, however, will see him off the field for far more than just one half, as Brown saw himself released from the organization as soon as the game concluded, with Arians saying Brown was “no longer a Buc.”
While Brown's issues both on and off the field have been highly publicized, the Buccaneers took a chance on him, bringing him on board to strengthen their wide receivers corps. He had flashes of greatness with Tampa Bay, including a catch in the Super Bowl last season, but never managed to get a grip on his off-field troubles, such as when he got in trouble for submitting a falsified vaccination card. This time, his antics extended onto the field, which proved to be the last straw for Arians and the Buccaneers.
While they're no longer teammates, Brady is still firmly in Brown's corner and wants fans to be compassionate and empathetic regarding the situation, suggesting there is far more to AB's outburst than meets the eye. Brady has never shied away from sticking up for Brown, and even after this latest outburst, it seems TB12 is sticking to his guns.