The Downfall of Antonio Brown

Former standout wide receiver faced a few difficult years on and off the field


Abby Moutardier, reporter

Once the second best player in the NFL, and now facing legal charges, wide receiver Antonio Brown has been on a downward spiral since the 2019 NFL season.


Brown comes from troubled beginnings. His father left the family to play football when Brown was 12, and four years later, his mom remarried. Following this, Brown was kicked out of his house at only 16 years old.

During this time, he attended Miami Norland High School, where he played football and earned an athlete of the year title in 2005. With all of his issues at home, he was unable to make it into Florida State University, starting his collegiate career at North Carolina Tech.

Following the football season at NCT, Brown earned a scholarship to Florida International University, but was expelled after a dispute. These issues would be enough to end things for most people, but Brown was offered a place at Central Michigan University.
As a freshman, Brown was awarded Mid-American College Freshman of the Year, and continued to succeed, leading him to go  on to the 2010 NFL draft and be drafted in the sixth round by the Pittsburg Steelers.

Steelers’ Career

In terms of playing, Antonio Brown’s early years with the Steelers was nothing short of success. He was a huge asset to the team that season, only losing that Super Bowl to the Packers by less than a touchdown.

It was in 2012 when things got rough, with Brown receiving a $10,000 fine for unsportsmanlike conduct, and an ankle injury taking him out for three games. Things were brighter in the 2013 season, when Brown became the second ever Steeler to accumulate 100 interceptions in a season.

Brown had many other issues in the coming seasons, such as a fine in 2014 for kicking a Browns player. Throughout the 2016 season, Brown was fined several times for “twerking” or doing other sexual-like dances in the end zone.

2017 was a pretty good year for Brown, signing a five year contract with the Steelers, becoming the highest paid wide receiver in the NFL, and being the 2nd best player in the league.

Things weren’t all great, and after the season, Brown began his falling out with the team.

First he didn’t show up for a Saturday pre-game prep, resulting in him being benched for that Sunday’s season closer against the Browns.

He continue by proudly showing up late, and began dissing the team he once proudly played for on Twitter. He developed a feud with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, despite Roethlisberger denying the existence of any issues.

Brown was traded by Pittsburg at the end of the 2018 season to the Oakland Raiders.


What could’ve been the end of Brown’s Drama Saga was far from it. Before playing even a single game with his new team, Brown was released, after requesting due to fines for misconduct, in early September.

Brown bounced around one more time, this time joining the New England Patriots. He was cut within the next two weeks, after playing only one game, due to accusations of sexual assault and rape.

Post Football Career

After being cut from the Patriots, Brown took a break from football, and stayed mostly out of the spotlight for a few months, and on January 6, Brown realized his first song, Whole Lotta Money, which wasn’t overly well received.

Since music wasn’t a viable career, Brown decided on a more criminal based lifestyle, getting arrested for three charges, burglary with assault or battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief.

He spent the night in jail, after his trainer assaulted a truck driver, which resulted in Brown throwing a rock at that driver, and later moving to a more physical assault.

Brown risked spending life in jail, but was granted bail with required mental health evaluation.

As of early February, Brown began to turn his life around. He started to see a therapist, and started apologizing to his former Pittsburgh family.

“Everyone loves comeback stories man, I’m in shape, 2020 is going to be a great year and it’s a great opportunity to bounce back,” Brown said.

Brown expressed interest in returning to the NFL, but Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said bringing back the star was not in their best interest, and the Raiders didn’t seem eager to get him back either.

An NFL return seems unlikely for Brown, and after calling the new and developing XFL  lower-class football, any football return doesn’t seem likely- at least for the time being.

The Future

Brown’s future is all a big question.Three years ago, Brown was the best wide receiver in the league. Now, all he has left is Twitter apologies and hope. While right now, an NFL return is unlikely, anything could happen, and Brown may turn his whole life around.