Five Thoughts on the Latest Antonio Brown Drama

Antonio Brown either loves making headlines or just can’t figure out how to stay out of them.

It’s hard to get a feel for what’s really going on between AB and the Raiders, but there are safe assumptions that can be made at this point.

Let’s take a look at a few…

The Raiders don’t want Antonio Brown operating by his own set of rules.

It happened some during training camp (that AB began stretching the limits of team procedures), but general manager Mike Mayock has twice now put the squeeze on Brown – once with his message through the media, and again with the fines that Brown announced on Wednesday. If Brown wants to play by his own set of rules, the Raiders are making it clear that this isn’t the place to do it.

Jon Gruden is staying out of the AB drama, for now.

Gruden is enjoying one of the real privileges of having a general manager: he doesn’t have to be the bad guy. Obviously no fines come down from Mayock’s desk without Gruden’s approval, but Gruden can separate himself from the disciplinary side of the business thanks to Mayock. But you can be sure Gruden wasn’t happy about AB missing the walkthrough prior to the Packers game.

Is Derek Carr the glue that can keep the marriage together?

Gruden can’t play ‘good cop’ forever, but Carr is in a position where he can deal with Brown on a different level than the organization. If Brown respects his quarterback the way he says he does, the off-field antics will maybe keep their rightful place far away from the field. Today, it feels like the odds of that happening went down just a fraction.

The Raiders are taking a risk playing hardball with Brown.

You can bet Gruden and Mayock understand the potential consequences of being tough on AB – especially in their decision to deal with him in the public eye. It was the right thing to do, but Brown doesn’t have a recent history of responding particularly well to being told how to do things. The hope was that underlying issues in Pittsburgh were at the root of Brown’s antics with the Steelers, but AB loses the benefit of the doubt if he can’t co-exist with Gruden and Mayock in Oakland.

How patient will the Raiders be with Brown?

Little problems can be overlooked when they are isolated, but Brown is making unnecessary headlines about once every week. It really isn’t about anything that has happened to this point (none of the headlines have been that bad), but at the rate he’s going, Brown is eventually going to push the wrong botton and the Raiders will have had enough. One thing you can be sure about… if the Raiders aren’t winning and Brown keeps causing headaches, he won’t be around for long.

One thing I do think, though, is that Gruden is going to dial up Brown’s number a lot this season. No way is Gruden going to let his play calling be the next headline AB creates in Oakland.

twitter: @raidersbeat