Whatever course of action the Oakland Raiders decide to take regarding the missteps of star wide receiver Antonio Brown, Jon Gruden and the Raiders front office will have the backing of the team locker room.
David Carr, the brother of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr, said on NFL Network Thursday night that the team captains had asked to meet with Gruden earlier in the day to let him know that they will back the team’s decision on Brown.
“They’ve gone to bat for this guy,” David Carr said. “With the helmet, missing practices, through all that Jon Gruden, Derek, a lot of the players… they like Antonio Brown. They want him to be part of this team. But then you do things that are irrational and we try to sit up here and explain irrational moves and the things and actions that he does and try to defend him, it’s almost impossible to do. And so you find yourself in a situation where as a player, as a team, you go in – as the captains did today – and talk to Jon Gruden and say whatever you decide to do, because it was so bad, because of what happened to Mike Mayock and what happened on the field was so bad, they’re fine with whatever they decide. The players are fine with whatever happens.”
The Raiders with Brown have been a continual soap opera throughout the offseason. Brown accidentally froze his feet in a cryotherapy mishap, refused to practice and launched a grievance against the NFL because he couldn’t wear the helmet he wanted to wear, skipped a team walkthrough ahead of a preseason game in Winnipeg and then launched into a tirade against G.M. Mike Mayock after the team had the gall to levy fines against him for his repeated transgressions after Mayock made it clear Brown needed to be “all in or all out.”
The Raiders have made it known they are heavily considering suspending Brown over his actions, though that suspension has not been handed down yet. If it ultimately is, it could set the stage for the Raiders trying to recoup over $29 million in money guaranteed to Brown in the contract he signed with the team this spring.
David’s relationship with his brother makes his comments about the ongoing Raiders saga compelling. If the locker room is getting as equally tired of Brown’s conduct as the front office is, it could make it difficult for the relationship to continue.
“The players are fine with whatever happens,” Carr continued. “They would love to have Antonio Brown back. They would love to have him back, but there’s a culture they’re trying to establish in Oakland and they’re trying to do things the right way and there’s one guy that’s kind of holding them up right now. And that can’t be the case and those guys collectively went into Jon Gruden and said we’re going to make sure that we’re with you no matter what you decide to do.
“Right now they don’t expect to have him. He’s not going to play Monday night. He’s not playing Monday night as far as the players are concerned, as far as Derek is concerned, they’re not going to have Antonio Brown for the Monday night football game. What happens after that, it’s really on Antonio Brown and what he decides to do as a professional and as a man.”