Around the NFL: Antonio Brown’s Side, Arkush and Rodgers Feud? Baker’s Murky Future in Cleveland, More

Week 18 of the NFL season is upon us, but before we get into the final week of action on the field, there are a few things around the league of note to discuss in todays Around the NFL.

Antonio Brown’s Side of the Story

Antonio Brown is the storyline that never stops giving in the NFL. After having a few days to ponder his most recent head-scratching outburst, Brown released a lengthy statement on Sunday’s incident through his attorney, Sean Burstyn.

Here’s the gist; AB claims he was too injured to play on Sunday against the Jets and that the team, more specifically, Bruce Arians, knew about the injury and his desire not to play. AB claims that the team forced him to receive treatment on the ankle in the form of a pain-killer injection, ordered him to play on Sunday, and that Arians “cut” him during Sunday’s game after he refused to re-enter again because he was in pain.

Brown also claims that he had an MRI done on Monday morning, and the MRI revealed “broken bone fragments stuck in my ankle, the ligament torn from the bone, and cartilage loss, which are beyond painful. You can see the bone bulging from the outside.”

Look, I’m not a doctor or a pro athlete, but the severity of the injury that Brown described in his statement seems like something that would require at least … not suiting up at all, right?

But, here’s Antonio Brown sitting courtside at the Brooklyn Nets game on Monday night, looking pretty comfortable for a guy with a mangled foot in the manner he described.

Today, Antonio Brown took it a step further by tweeting some screenshots of an alleged conversation with Bucs’ head coach Bruce Arians.

One thing is evident here, and that’s that Antonio Brown isn’t going to take his dismissal from the Buccaneers without a fight, and he’s mounted the public defense of his actions and villainized the coach that is the reason he is still even a topic of discussion in the NFL.

We don’t know what happened, and the truth is probably somewhere in the middle of the two stories, but for me, the bottom line is this; I don’t care what Antonio Brown has to say at this point. Brown has proven time and time again to be an agitator and a liar. He was run out of three teams before the Buccaneers gave him a shot. He has countless documented off-field issues centered around his volatile personality and untrustworthy actions.

Just this season, he served a three-game suspension for submitting a falsified vaccination record to the NFL, a revelation that came to light when a former chef that he stiffed on payment spilled the beans. So, forgive us all for being a bit cynical regarding Antonio Brown’s version of the “truth.”

UPDATE: The Buccaneers have terminated the contract of Antonio Brown and released the following statement:

Hub Arkush Sticks His Foot in His Mouth

Hub Arkush isn’t a fan of Aaron Rodgers as a person. Still, the veteran scribe went and stuck his foot in his mouth big time this week when he said that he wouldn’t vote for Aaron Rodgers as the NFL’s MVP because he’s the “biggest jerk in the league,” among other things, including vaccination status and his offseason holdout.

As you might have expected, Aaron Rodgers had something to say about Hub’s comments.

Hub has since attempted to walk his comments back and apologize for speaking out of pocket on his AP vote for the NFL’s MVP Award, and you can read that here if you choose.

Look, make of the mess what you will. I couldn’t care less. Hub’s comments didn’t surprise me in the least, and neither did Rodgers’ rebuttal. Whatever, let’s talk football.

Baker’s Murky Future in Cleveland

It seems that all is not well in Cleveland after the team failed to live up to their lofty preseason expectations. Baker Mayfield has been hurt for much of the season, and now that the blame game has commenced in Cleveland, it seems like Mayfield might be ready for a change of scenery.

The Browns picked up Mayfield’s fifth-year option last spring, so the quarterback has one year left in Cleveland at $18.5 million unless the Browns cut him or trade him. Cutting him seems unlikely since the Browns would have that entire $18.5 million cap hit go as dead money, so a trade this offseason seems like a likely parting of the ways for the two sides.

The question now becomes, what is a quarterback of Mayfield’s caliber on a one-year deal worth to a team in need at the quarterback position. The answer is probably not much. I can’t see the Browns fetching much more than (at most) a third-round or (more likely) fourth-round draft pick for Mayfield.

In his four seasons in Cleveland, Mayfield has thrown for 14,125 yards, 92 touchdowns, and 56 interceptions while completing 61.6 percent of his passes and posting a quarterback rating of 87.8. If Mayfield was on a longer-term deal, we might discuss a more significant return for Cleveland in a potential trade.  His numbers haven’t been bad by any stretch of the imagination in Cleveland, but he’s been surrounded by the best Browns team in a very long time the past few years and has failed to do anything beyond a single playoff appearance last season.

It just seems as though his time in Cleveland has run its course, and the two sides are in line for a change.

The Extra Point(s)

•   The Week 18 schedule has been finalized, and there are a few games of interest this weekend with playoff implications for our viewing pleasure.

•   Big Ben’s future seems as inevitable as it ever has after Monday night’s curtain call in what will likely be his final game at Heinz Field. Roethlisberger’s impending retirement closes the book on the legendary 2004 quarterback class featuring Eli Manning and Phillip Rivers.

•   For my fellow fans of The Wire:

•   Welcome to Speculation SZN:

•   T.J. Watt has a shot at making history this Sunday!

•   This cat will be a problem for the NFC North for a while.

•   Calvin Johnson currently holds the single-season receiving record with 1,964 yards in the 2012 season, but Cooper Kupp needs just 136 yards on Sunday to break his record. 👀

written by

Patrick grew up in Chicago's Bridgeport and Garfield Ridge neighborhoods before moving to the Western Suburbs of Chicago before eventually relocating to the Las Vegas area with his family in 2023. He started with Bleacher Nation in 2021 and has spent time as a Staff Writer and on the Chicago Blackhawks beat. He is currently a writer and editor at Bleacher Nation covering the Chicago Bears and the NFL at large and the author of the Bleacher Nation Newsletter. Patrick is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America (PFWA).

more bears news

Caleb Williams Offers Update Regarding Rookie Contract Status

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Caleb Williams has yet to sign his rookie contract. And even though Williams provided an update on the situation during his Caleb Cares event on Saturday, there wasn't much of substance. "I'm not handling that," Williams...

Why Are Caleb Williams and Rome Odunze Still Unsigned?

The Chicago Bears' first public training camp practice is three weeks from today. And yet, the team's top two draft picks have yet to sign their rookie contracts. Quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Rome Odunze remain unsigned as of...

New Food Options Coming to Soldier Field, An Odd Quote About Tight End Usage, R.I.P. Jacoby Jones, and Other Bears Bullets

The College Football '25 video game is coming out this week. So if you're curious as to why the group chat isn't as responsive as usual, it'll probably be because folks are getting in the game. There are 56 days...

Bears Countdown Continues, Kreutz, Sanborn, Jaylon, Caleb, and Other Bears Bullets

A Saturday brunch edition of BN Bears Bullets follows this sentence, which I am using as an intro because I don't have much else to say here at this time. The Chicago Bears will host their first open training camp...

I Have A Good Feeling About Teven Jenkins

This is a big year for Chicago Bears offensive lineman Teven Jenkins. So, as you might expect, the 26-year-old left guard is going to extra lengths to prepare for the 2024 NFL season. FOX Sports NFL reporter Carmen Vitali shares...

This is Caleb Williams’ Favorite Play

My second favorite thing about HBO's offseason version of "Hard Knocks" featuring the New York Giants has been how often the Chicago Bears have been tangentially connected. We are two episodes into the off-shoot that gives us a behind-the-scenes look...

Around the NFL: Dak Prescott on Ankle Boot and Contract Talks: Nothing to See, Adams to Tennessee, Goodell on CBS Deal, More

NFL NOTES — Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott has stated that there is "absolutely nothing" wrong with his right ankle despite being seen wearing a walking boot on his right foot recently. Dak Prescott on Ankle Boot and Contract Talks:...

Darnell Has the Wright Stuff For a Breakout (And Other Bears Bullets)

My apologies for a tardy set of BN Bears Bullets. Every once in a while I wake up with a pounding headache and it really throws my day off. Today is one of those days, so bear with me. Please?...

Defensive Coaching Legend Monte Kiffin is Dead at 84

Monte Kiffin, one of the greatest defensive minds in football history, has passed away at age 84. https://twitter.com/OleMissFB/status/1811530014678212689 Kiffin's coaching career began in 1966 as a Nebraska graduate assistant and included stops throughout college and professional football before coming to...

How Devin Hester and a Lil’ Wayne Song Fueled Rome Odunze’s Bears Fandom

The second installment of the Chicago Bears' "Meet the Rookies" YouTube series stars Rome Odunze. This wide-ranging episode includes all stories from former coaches, anecdotes from a family with a proud Nigerian heritage, and tales from Rome himself. Once again,...

Latest News

How to Watch Swiss Open Gstaad 2024: TV Schedule, Live Stream Links – Tuesday, July 16

The schedule at Roy Emerson Arena at the Swiss Open Gstaad on July 16 includes six matches in the round of 32, among them Pedro Cachin (No. 117 ranking) against Matteo Berrettini (No. 59). If you're searching for how to...

Heide vs. Napolitano Prediction at the Swiss Open Gstaad – Tuesday, July 16

In the Swiss Open Gstaad Round of 32 on Tuesday, No. 185-ranked Gustavo Heide meets No. 129 Stefano Napolitano.Heide is favored (-115) in this matchup, compared to the underdog Napolitano, who is -110.Swiss Open Gstaad InfoTournament: The Swiss Open GstaadRound:...

Halys vs. Gasquet Prediction at the Swiss Open Gstaad – Tuesday, July 16

In the Round of 32 at the Swiss Open Gstaad on Tuesday, Richard Gasquet (ranked No. 125) meets Quentin Halys (No. 220).Gasquet is the favorite (-125) in this match, compared to the underdog Halys, who is +100.Swiss Open Gstaad InfoTournament:...

How to Watch Hall of Fame Open 2024: TV Schedule, Live Stream Links – Tuesday, July 16

No. 96-ranked Mackenzie McDonald will play No. 77 Rinky Hijikata on July 16 at International Tennis Hall of Fame, the highlight of a three-match slate at the Hall of Fame Open (round of 32). Head to ESPN for the live...

Zverev vs. de Jong Prediction at the Hamburg European Open – Tuesday, July 16

In the Round of 32 at the Hamburg European Open on Tuesday, Alexander Zverev (ranked No. 4) takes on Jesper de Jong (No. 120).Zverev carries -1250 odds to beat de Jong (+650).Hamburg European Open InfoTournament: The Hamburg European OpenRound: Round...

Alves vs. Lajovic Prediction at the Hamburg European Open – Tuesday, July 16

Felipe Alves (No. 145 ranking) will face Dusan Lajovic (No. 56) in the Round of 32 of the Hamburg European Open on Tuesday, July 16.Lajovic is getting -155 odds to beat Alves (+120).Hamburg European Open InfoTournament: The Hamburg European OpenRound:...

How to Watch 32nd Palermo Ladies Open 2024: TV Schedule, Live Stream Links – Tuesday, July 16

At Country Time Club on July 16, No. 8-ranked Qinwen Zheng will play No. 86 Sara Errani, highlighting a 11-match slate in the 32nd Palermo Ladies Open round of 32. For the live stream, head to ESPN.Watch tennis, other live...

Chicago Cubs Select Third Baseman Cam Smith in the First Round

In the first round of the 2024 MLB Draft, with the 14th overall pick, the Chicago Cubs tonight selected Florida State third baseman Cam Smith. They did not overthink things. They simply took a very, very good bat who was...

Topalova vs. Sorribes Tormo Prediction at the Hungarian Grand Prix – Monday, July 15

No. 234-ranked Gergana Topalova will face No. 59 Sara Sorribes Tormo in the Hungarian Grand Prix Round of 32 on Monday, July 15.In this match against Topalova (+450), Sorribes Tormo is the favorite with -714 odds.Hungarian Grand Prix InfoTournament: The...

Svajda vs. Paire Prediction at the Hall of Fame Open – Monday, July 15

In the Round of 32 at the Hall of Fame Open on Monday, Benoit Paire (ranked No. 160) faces Zachary Svajda (No. 119).With -556 odds, Svajda is the favorite against Paire (+350) for this matchup.Hall of Fame Open InfoTournament: The...

more bears news