Antonio Brown will play on Monday night after he delivered an “emotional apology” to his team on Friday morning, according to ESPN.
Team captains including Derek Carr and Vontaze Burfict also spoke at the meeting and let Brown know he is welcomed back.
Said safety Lamarcus Joyner:
“They spoke to us as a whole, but also spoke to AB. They let him know: we support you, but we all got to have a line of communication and at the end of the day, that’s whats going keep us together … we expressed that and everyone took it well.”
Raiders Head Coach Jon Gruden told a group of reporters that Brown would play Week 1:
“We’re ready to move on. He’s had a lot of time to think about things. We’re happy to have him back and I know Raider nation is excited too.”
The Raiders planned to suspend the star receiver after he and General Manager Mike Mayock “got into it,” according to ESPN.
Brown reportedly called Mayock “a cracker.”
Brown gave a quick statement to the media on Friday afternoon:
“I want to apologize to my teammates, organization. Enough talk. I’m excited to be part of the Raiders and see all you guys soon.”
The Raiders could have voided Brown’s $30 million guaranteed money without any penalty Brown is now active and ready to play against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football for the final season in the Coliseum.
The Raiders were reportedly ready to play without Brown, but Offensive Coordinator Greg Olson always had Brown in his game plan:
“I planned on having him all along. We had a little bit of a glitch the other day, but that’s been taken care of, so nothings really changed.”
Brown has had limited reps in the Raider system since being traded in March from the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Olson is not worried:
”The guy is top player in his position in the game. We’ve gone through game planning … missed some time but we feel good about where here and Derek [Carr] are at.”
This ends up being a win-win for both parties. Oakland has an explosive dynamic to their offense., especially when Denver has shutdown corner Chris Harris Jr.
Brown has had six straight 100-eception seasons, while Oakland has had only a 100-pass catcher in its entire history — Tim Brown in 1997 with 104 catches.
And, for Brown, he won’t lose any money and gets play week one.
His teammates insist that the Brown drama has not been a distraction and continued to prepare themselves. Joyner said:
“I don’ t think there’s ever been a deterrent. We’re all professionals … we have a job to do. Again just excited we got him, excited everyone is focused. The task at hand is getting ready for Denver.”
Brown hijacked this off season with his on and off the field antics. From head to toe, the Raiders would love to move on from this fiasco of a week.
All could be forgiven and forgotten if Brown has a monster game.