Antonio Brown Says He'll Only Get Surgery on His Injured Ankle if a NFL Team Signs Him
Antonio Brown badly wants to play in the NFL again, but the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers star wide receiver says he won't have surgery unless he is signed by an NFL team.
AB joined Babcock on TMZ Sports TV (airs weeknights on FS1), where he discussed everything from Tom Brady's possible reunion in Tampa, to the status of his injured ankle, and what message he would send to front office personnel in the NFL.
Brown, 33, the President of Kanye West's Donda Sports, says he sees himself playing in the league with the idea of reuniting with his friend, TB12, and the Buccaneers organization. Almost certainly will not happen.
"I don't think that's a possibility," Brown said. "How things were handled. How I was handled in regards to the injury. [They] just weren't able to use me for my value. My true value."
"But I was grateful for the opportunity and the position that I was in and I made the most out of it."
We spoke to AB before Bruce Arians stepped down as Buccaneers head coach.
Antonio still insists he never "quit on the job." You'll recall Brown left the field during the Buccaneers' game against the Jets, leading many to believe he was done playing football.
"For them [Tampa Bay Bucs] to try to manipulate the narrative or act like I walked away from my job is far from the truth."
AB claims that the beef with Arians stems from the coach forcing the All-Pro receiver to play on a badly injured ankle. Antonio, who previously said he was getting the ankle operated on, was asked if he had yet undergone the procedure.
"I need to get my ankle fixed, but I just want to make sure I got an obligation or a commitment from a team," Brown told us, adding ... "It's a lot for a guy to go do surgery without an idea of where you gonna work, or who you going to work for."
Despite making 7 Pro Bowls, Antonio says he wouldn't be satisfied if he never played another NFL down.
"I'm a player first," AB said. "I couldn't even be in this position without being a football player. So I never want to take that for granted. I would love to continue my career. I got a lot of game left in me."
Brown says he sees other wide receivers being paid big money, like Davante Adams' $141-million deal, and wonders why he hasn't signed a big-money deal.
"I still feel like I can put up big numbers, and I see what these guys are getting paid. I just wonder why my value isn't being upheld as the same."
It's not meant to be disrespectful, since AB says they deserve it.
"I'm happy for those guys. I'm really grateful for those guys who pioneered the game. They take it further, and made their prices go up. So I'm grateful for those guys to get what they deserve," Antonio says.
"My situation is never about anyone else. It's just all about getting what I deserve because I know what I am and what I stand for, and you can't play with me, the numbers are the numbers."
As a final note, Brown sent a message to prospective teams that may be on the fence about signing him.
"Watch the tape. It's not what the articles they sell. It's what I'm willing to do and what I'm capable of doing. I put my heart on the line, I put my will on the line, I put my skills on the line. I'm the best go in the stadium every week."