Antonio Brown asks Oakland Raiders to release him ahead of new NFL season

Antonio Brown asks Oakland Raiders to release him ahead of new NFL season

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Antonio Brown asked the Oakland Raiders to release him Saturday, as the bizarre saga over the star wide receiver’s status on the team took another twist before the start of the NFL season.

“I’m not mad at anyone. I’m just asking for the freedom to prove them all wrong,” Brown said in an Instagram post early Saturday.

After an alleged altercation with Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock, the team indicated it was preparing to suspend and potentially release the star wideout.

But Brown apologized to the team Friday, with teammates saying they accepted it.

“We had a team meeting where Antonio addressed the team,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “We were up there with him, a couple of captains. We communicated back and forth when that was done we were all excited to move forward.”

Coach Jon Gruden suggested Brown could start in Monday’s opener against the Denver Broncos.

But the drama didn’t stop there.

Brown then posted a video on YouTube late Friday that included audio of what appeared to be a conversation between him and Gruden, and which suggested all was perhaps not quite as well in Oakland as the Raiders were trying to make out.

It now remains to be seen whether Brown will still be on the team when their season gets underway.

The Raiders acquired Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers in March for 3rd- and 5th-round draft picks, giving him a new contract and a hefty raise in the process.

He had outstayed his welcome in Pittsburgh, but the Raiders have been counting heavily on Brown to spark an offense that was lacklustre a year ago after Gruden returned to coaching from the announcing booth.

He featured heavily in this year’s edition of the “Hard Knocks” series, which was centered on the Raiders’ training camp.

Drama over Brown’s reluctance to wear an NFL-mandated helmet and his absence from the team after suffering a foot injury while undergoing cryotherapy preoccupied much of the series.

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