The Oakland Raiders got themselves one of the NFL's best when they plucked wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March. Then, everything fell apart, from his feet to his head, Brown became disgruntled with the team that he wanted to play for after his legendary career in Pittsburgh.

On Saturday, after Brown had worn his time with the Raiders too thin, the team parted ways with the mercurial receiver. Once appearing to be a savior for the Raiders after going 4-12 in 2018, he wound up never playing a snap for the team. Let's go through the timeline of why they released him, starting with the trade to acquire him.

The trade to Oakland – March 10th

Antonio Brown, Raiders

Brown was nearly a member of the Buffalo Bills until he saw the news broke that he had been traded there and immediately typed “fake news” on social media posts indicating he'd been dealt to Buffalol. The Raiders swooped in by trading a third and fifth-round to the Steelers for his services, a deal that was immediately regarded as a bad trade for Pittsburgh in terms of value.

After acquiring Brown's services, the Raiders added money to his contract. They upped his deal from three years, $39 million to three years, $50.13 million with a hair over $30 million in guaranteed money.

HelmetGate begins – May

Brown wanted to where his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that he sported for the entirety of his Steelers career. However, the NFL didn't allow him to do so, as the league banned the helmet under its new player-safety policy that took multiple helmets off of the list they allow.

In May, this wasn't known. However, Brown clashed with Raiders brass over not letting him wear the helmet during OTAs. This was only the beginning of HelmetGate.

The beginning of training camp – July 25th/26th

Antonio Brown

The Raiders and the HBO Hard Knocks crew witness Brown show up to training camp in Napa on a hot air balloon, with frostbitten feet suffered via a cryotherapy machine in France because he wore the incorrect footwear. This isn't known yet, however, as he was mysteriously placed on the NFI (non-football injury) list.

Frostbite breaks the internet – August 6th

Oakland takes Brown off of the NFI as he returned to training camp on July 28th. Shortly after, on August 7th, news breaks that Brown has frostbite on his feet. Social media proceeds to blow up as reports surface that Brown was out indefinitely while trying to recover from frostbite. He then leaves training camp.

HelmetGate goes public – August 9th

Brown threatens to retire from football if he cannot wear his desired helmet. This is the beginning of helmetgate to the public eye, as Brown files a grievance with the NFL, which he ultimately loses. He believes his old helmet helps him with his vision on the field, and he won't go down without a fight.

Word gets out that Brown really wants to wear his helmet, and he went as far as painting his old Steelers one – a gambit that was easily noticeable to reporters from the sidelines of training camp. This, as it turns out, was the beginning of a hectic August with “Schutt AiR Advantage” becoming a trending topic on Twitter.

The brief return/new info on HelmetGate – August 13th

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Antonio Brown, Raiders

Brown briefly returns to Raiders training camp with his still frostbitten feet and doesn't practice. On the same day, the NFL allows him to wear his Schutt AiR Advantage helmet if it's an updated version from the one he had been wearing since 2010. The internet proceeds to scour the globe to procure an acceptable version of the helmet in question.

Finds his helmet, gets denied, then leaves – August 18th

Brown finds his helmet, which was made in 2014. However, the NFL deems that it failed their safety tests, meaning he'll have to find a new one. Brown isn't at practice, so general manager  Mike Mayock fines Brown $40,000, famously saying the six-time Pro Bowler is “either all-in or all-out.”

The second helmet grievance – August 20th-25th

Antonio Brown, Raiders

On August 20th, Brown files a second grievance with the NFL, arguing that he should have a one-year grace period to phase out the helmet. He then reports to practice with an approved helmet. Five days later, the NFL denies his second grievance, but his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, insists that he'll find a new one and get an endorsement deal while doing so.

Brown finds his helmet, then gets suspended – September 4th

After a long search to find a new helmet, Brown gets one and an endorsement deal from Xenith to wear their “Shadow” helmet. On the same day, he posts a picture to his Instagram story over fines received from the Raiders for missing practice.

After posting a picture of the fines, Brown approaches Mayock in practice disgruntled. That turns into a verbal altercation, as he unloaded several cuss words on the general manager, reportedly calling him a “cracker.” He reportedly threatened to hit Mayock as his teammates, including the notoriously volatile Vontaze Burfict, had to hold him back.

The next day, reports begin swirling that the Raiders plan to suspend him.

No suspension, he'll play, and the beginning of the end – September 6th


Though Brown got into an altercation with the team's general manager, Jon Gruden insists that he'll play on Monday against the Denver Broncos. Perhaps part of the reason the coach let him back was for his emotional speech to his teammates during a meeting in which he was flanked by team captains. Essentially, Gruden calls the feud water under the bridge.

Brown then posts a two-minute video to his Youtube and Instagram pages of a private conversation between himself and Gruden, during which the coach lauds his work ethic, asks him to come back to practice and “just play football.” The video ends with Brown saying “no more games.”

The end – September 7th

The Raiders fine Brown $215,000 for conduct detrimental to the team. In response, Brown posts on Instagram a message asking for the Raiders to release him. He winds up getting his wish, as Oakland does so, but he doesn't get off scot-free.

Due to the conduct detrimental to the team fine, the Raiders can void the $30 million guaranteed in his contract, and they do just that. Brown is no longer a Raider after they make the release official, ending his brief, controversial, and highly-memorable tenure with the silver and black.