ESPN’s Mike Wilbon slams Raiders, ‘weak’ Jon Gruden over Antonio Brown situation

Antonio Brown’s future with the Oakland Raiders – and his $30 million in guaranteed money – appeared to be at risk just 24 hours ago, but in a stunning turn of events, Raiders coach Jon Gruden happily welcomed Brown back to practice on Friday and plans to play the wide receiver in Week 1.

News broke on Thursday that Brown was involved in a heated confrontation with general manager Mike Mayock the previous day, and that the Raiders planned to suspend Brown. The incident occurred after Brown had shared a photo of a letter from Mayock detailing $54,000 in fines for missing team activities. On Friday, ESPN reported that Brown initiated the incident and unleashed a barrage of profanity at Mayock, and was held back by a teammate.

All is well in Oakland, however, at least according to Gruden. After Brown apologized to the team on Friday, Gruden announced that the team was moving on from the myriad preseason issues Brown has been involved in, and that he planned to play Brown on against the Broncos.

It remains to be seen how long Brown will keep the peace in Oakland, but by letting him play Week 1, the Raiders are making a significant financial commitment to the volatile wideout, and will have to live with whatever drama surfaces down the line.

On ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Mike Wilbon blasted Gruden and the Raiders, saying that the head coach “looks like a dope” after allowing Brown off the hook.

 

 

“Antonio Brown is what he always is, which is just loud and annoying and aggravating and destructive to a team. But the new twist here is that Jon Gruden looks like a dope. He looks like somebody who’s a floor mat that says ‘welcome,’ and Antonio Brown… just walked all over him and just dragged mud over Jon Gruden, who looks so weak.

Of course [Brown] was going to play. They don’t have the guts, this Raider administration, to do anything to AB but put him out there. That’s all they got the guts to do.”

On his radio show Friday, Stephen A. Smith joked that Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, would have to have sensitive information on Raiders executives to get them to honor Brown’s contract.

“Drew Rosenhaus must have pictures on somebody or something. Something’s not right. I’ve never heard of a professional team, particularly one in the NFL, that would give up that kind of leverage. I’ve never heard of it.”