The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are moving forward without Antonio Brown, who exited the Bucs' Week 17 matchup against the New York Jets early without his helmet, shoulder pads or jersey. Brown was released after his outburst, and he and head coach Bruce Arians have been going back and forth about what Brown alleges was a "cover-up" with the star wideout's ankle injury. However, his former quarterback Tom Brady has seemingly always had his back.
Despite the fact that one of his top wideouts walked away from the team just weeks before the playoffs when Tampa Bay was already down a top receiver in Chris Godwin, Brady preached compassion and empathy when it came to Brown's situation. Brown rewarded Brady by going on the "Full Send Podcast" and publicly questioning their friendship.
"If Tom Brady's my boy, why am I not playing on an honest salary?" Brown said. "You my boy though, right? [Rob] Gronkowski his boy, right? How much he get paid? So why is A.B. on a prove it deal?"
Brady has always had Brown's back, from lobbying the Bucs to sign him despite his history of off-field issues, to letting him stay at his house. Recently, Brown seemingly went back on his comments and called Brady a "true friend."
"Listen, I love Tom. That's my guy," Brown told TMZ. "Don't get it twisted. A lot of words were taken out of substance. Tom is one of my true friends in the midst of adversity that was there for me, so don't get it twisted about nothing with Tom Brady. He's a G.O.A.T. Great player. Great teammate."
Brown apparently realizes his actions against the Jets and in the week that followed probably weren't the best. He even said last week that the way he left his last game with the Buccaneers "probably wasn't necessary or professional."
For now, Brown's focus is on his upcoming ankle surgery and getting healthy for the 2022 season, as he still anticipates playing football.