Bruce Arians announced Monday that Antonio Brown was “no longer a Buc” in wake of his sideline outburst during the team’s Week 17 game against the Jets. However, as of Tuesday morning, Brown was still technically on the team’s 53-man roster.
The process of removing Brown at this point is a formality. Arians isn’t going to give him another chance after his three-game suspension for misrepresenting his vaccination status coupled with his on-field meltdown on Sunday. And Brown didn’t even travel home with the team. He never left New York and was spotted at the Nets game on Monday night.
With that said, why are the Bucs waiting to part with Brown? It’s all procedural. Mark Maske of The Washington Post reports that the team is discussing with the NFL the designation with which they should release Brown.
The deliberations between the team and the league were focused on which designation the Buccaneers might place on Brown for player-personnel purposes, according to a person with knowledge of the discussions.
The Buccaneers will still almost certainly release Brown in the coming days, but they may have wanted to learn his status with the league before doing so. The NFL is not planning any “league-imposed discipline against Brown,” as Maske reports, so we’ll soon see whether that affects Tampa Bay’s plans with Brown.
Either way, it appears that the Bucs are taking the time to make sure that they handle Brown’s release in a way that best suits the franchise. And it appears that their consult is a group effort, as the NFL Players Association is also “involved in the deliberations regarding Brown’s status,” per Maske.
So, while Brown was still on the roster as of Tuesday morning, that shouldn’t last long. He may remain on the roster for a day or two longer than expected, but he almost certainly won’t play another down for the Bucs — or for any other NFL team.