Antonio Brown Questions Tom Brady's Friendship After Being Released from Buccaneers

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Antonio Brown Critcizes Bruce Arians, Questions Tom Brady Friendship
Antonio Brown Critcizes Bruce Arians, Questions Tom Brady Friendship

Andy Lyons/Getty; Mitchell Leff/Getty; Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty

Antonio Brown is playing defense after his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was terminated on Thursday.

The 33-year-old wide receiver was quick to criticize Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians and quarterback Tom Brady after being released from the team following his mid-game meltdown during Tampa Bay's Week 17 win.

During an appearance on the Full Send Podcast on Friday, Brown took particular aim at the six-time Super Bowl champion, 44, despite the quarterback's calls for compassion following last Sunday's incident.

"Tom Brady is my friend, why? Because I'm a good football player," he said. "These guys call me to win a Super Bowl, not for the toilet bowl."

Antonio Brown Critcizes Bruce Arians, Questions Tom Brady Friendship
Antonio Brown Critcizes Bruce Arians, Questions Tom Brady Friendship

Andy Lyons/Getty; Mitchell Leff/Getty; Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty

RELATED: Antonio Brown Says He 'Relented to Pressure' from Coach to Play Injured Leading to Mid-Game Outburst

Brown offered similar sentiments during a separate interview with Tapped in Daily on Clubhouse. "I mean, you can't really expect anyone to be your friend in the business of football. The game is football but our business is winning," Brown said Friday.

"How I've been handled, how I continue to be handled, how I continue to be slandered, how I continue to be made upon as a bad guy — I know America love its bad guys — but I'm a great guy," Brown added. "I just won a Super Bowl, I'm an American hero, I persevered through numerous adversities."

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Last Sunday, Brown captured NFL fans' attention when he ripped off his uniform mid-game before hyping up the crowd and sprinting off the field while both the Buccaneers and the New York Jets were still on the field.

Arians, 69, who previously had issues with Brown before he joined the team in 2020, told reporters that the receiver was "no longer" with the team during his postgame press conference. Meanwhile, Brady asked for compassion and empathy toward Brown.

"We all love him. We care about him deeply," Brady said after the game. "We want to see him being at his best, and unfortunately, it won't be with our team.

Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Tom Brady #12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to pass during the third quarter against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on October 10, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty

RELATED: Tom Brady Asks for Compassion, Empathy for Antonio Brown After Football Player Cut by Bucs

Brown broke down the incident from his perspective on the Full Send podcast, confirming that he refused to enter the game due to an ankle injury. "The coach said, 'Get the f--- out of here.' I'm like, 'Yo, f--- you guys, too!' I'm taking off your logo, I'm not wearing this s--- no more. I threw it," he recalled.

"Now imagine you hear 60,000 people like, 'Yeah, AB!' My f------ adrenaline got so high. I just got too sexy for my clothes!" Brown added with a laugh. "But I started giving the fans what they wanted. They want gloves, they want shirts."

Brown, who became a free agent on Thursday, wasn't shy when discussing the lack of respect he felt as a member of the team — especially from Arians.

"Imagine if a coach tell you, 'Get the f--- out of here.' What are you gonna do [when] you tell a coach you can't go in the game?" he said, before asking their camera to zoom in on his injured ankle — which he claims Arians knew about when he asked him to go in.

Antonio Brown
Antonio Brown

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Antonio Brown

RELATED: NFL Suspends Antonio Brown and 2 Others for Misrepresenting COVID Vaccination Status

"My whole thing is, it's about integrity. And if you've got a player [on your team], players have rights," he continued. "And you've got a right to tell the coach, 'Yo coach, I can't go in the game.' If it make the coach irrational [or] emotional that I can't do my job, then that's not humane."

When asked again if Brady was his friend, Brown said the question went "too far." However, he suggested that the quarterback didn't help advocate for him to receive the contract he believed he deserved.

"To say someone's my friend — I'm out here getting 'prove it' type contracts where I'm out here, they got me trying to earn a million dollars to make some type of catches," the wide receiver said of Brady. "So to say you're my friend — I shouldn't be playing on those types of deals when I just came with you and won the Super Bowl."

Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on against the New York Jets during the game at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Antonio Brown #81 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks on against the New York Jets during the game at MetLife Stadium on January 02, 2022 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Elsa/Getty

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"So I think people like to be around me and spend time with me, but they're not even seeing my value in that regards," Brown continued. "If you check the stats and the history, which is what we get paid off of, which we go about, the work and the intangibles — I would think I could deserve more than be worrying about earning money instead of worrying about winning another Super Bowl."

When asked on Full Send if he planned to play football again, Brown didn't hesitate to confirm. "Of course, man. This is my passion. This is what I do, man," he said. "Every year is a fresh start, a new year. I still like to get in shape. I still like to compete."