Antonio Brown is not done as a player, but is he done with the Oakland Raiders?

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders talk on the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - AUGUST 15: Wide receiver Antonio Brown #84 and quarterback Derek Carr #4 of the Oakland Raiders talk on the sidelines during the first half of the NFL preseason game against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium on August 15, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Oakland Raiders took a risk when they acquired wide receiver Antonio Brown from the Pittsburgh Steelers. Now, it seems that Brown may never play in a Raiders uniform.

In the most recent edition of the Antonio Brown saga, reports emerged that Brown and Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock had to be restrained during a shouting match after Wednesday’s practice.

Now the Raiders are reportedly considering a suspension that would void Brown’s $29.125 million in contract guarantees.

While it wouldn’t make anything certain (and any attempt to void his guarantees would surely employ some lawyers), voiding his guarantees would pave the way for the Raiders to release Brown without incurring any cap hit.

Brown was supposed to bring head coach Jon Gruden and the Raiders back to legitimacy.

While Mayock is new to the regime, Gruden’s decision to trade Khalil Mack last offseason has hung over every move he’s made since. Acquiring a future Hall of Famer, like Brown, for a couple of mid-round picks was going to be the coup that paved over the Mack misstep.

Instead, there is a legitimate chance that Brown never plays a game in a Raiders uniform (sidenote: that would make two seasons in a row that the Raiders traded the Steelers a mid-round pick for a receiver they would release before playing a game — see Martavis Bryant).

This is rooted in one issue, from the moment he was acquired, Brown knew the power he had. Gruden and Mayock gave him an even better hand in Oakland than he did in Pittsburgh. He used it beautifully.

Raiders fans will cringe at my description, but it’s all about perspective. Brown wanted out of Pittsburgh and got his way. Then he leveraged a trade-that he wanted to happen-into a new contract with nearly $30 million in guarantees.

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When the NFL determined the helmet Brown wore last season was no longer legal, Brown used it to stop showing up to work and acquired a new sponsorship deal out of it.

Even “Hard Knocks,” the show claiming to bring “an unfiltered all-access look at what it takes to make it in the National Football League” seemed to become a series of PR videos for Brown.

Mayock’s anger comes from legitimate frustration with Brown’s actions. However, it is coming from a place of desperation, not strength.

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The front office’s reputation is on the line and Brown doesn’t seem to care. In fact, Brown seemed to be benefiting more as his behavior became more detrimental to Oakland.

Then at Wednesday’s practice, Brown overplayed his hand for the first time. It could prove costly. While the details remain unclear, it appears his tirade gave the Raiders plenty of evidence to invoke a clause in his contract deemed “conduct detrimental to the team” that can void his entire contract.

The Raiders are trying to regain control. At the moment, it appears that suspending Brown is their plan. It’s not taking the game check, but the ability to void Brown’s guarantees that appeals to them. Without guarantees the Raiders can — or can threaten to — release Brown.

If his guarantees can’t be voided, releasing Brown isn’t really an option. But even if it is, does making Brown an unrestricted free agent really punish him?

The Raiders are missing a basic premise of discipline, for a threat to work it has to be both legitimate and something Brown fears. Can Mayock and Gruden really afford to release Brown? If they can, does Brown care?

It’s fair to wonder what the price for Brown on the open market would look like. After all, there weren’t many teams reportedly interested in him when he was still in Pittsburgh. Now after these blow-ups, it would seem hard to perceive a huge bidding war.

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That doesn’t mean Brown sees it that way though. Nothing suggests he doesn’t view himself as a top receiver in the league worthy of a massive contract.

At the same time, if released, the dynamics will have shifted. Brown had the leverage in Oakland because they gave it to him. Some would argue they had to in order to acquire his talent. I’d argue that once they acquired Brown there was no need to amend him any further.

His issues in Pittsburgh were supposedly tied to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the perceived preferential treatment he received from the organization. Once he was traded, all of those issues should have ceased.

Lost in the hooplah and dramatics is legitimate concern for Brown’s mental health. As Bomani Jones, co-host of ESPN’s “High Noon” asked earlier today, “Is he okay?”

There are arguments that this is Brown’s 7-D chess to extract more money and power in every situation, but perhaps that’s trying to put logic to something more devastating.

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All of this leads back to Oakland’s front-office. Every report seems to suggest the team is trying to build a case to void his guarantees and release him. They really have left themselves with little choice.

With all that said, Brown remains one of the five best receivers in the NFL. Amidst the turmoil last season in Pittsburgh, he caught 104 receptions for a league-leading 15 touchdowns and 1,297 yards.

He can still play.

Raiders fans should soon expect a formal announcement suspending Brown that will have a termination tied in. The bad news is that probably won’t be the lowest point for them.

Once a free-agent, Brown will lose his leverage. Whatever team signs him will surely have minimal guarantees and plenty of character stipulations to limit the risk on their end. Through all this, Brown’s football ability and work ethic have never been questioned.

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Wherever he suits up, he will contribute and that will be the greatest frustration. Gruden and Mayock weren’t wrong to bring in Brown, but the way they deferred to him set up a situation that could only end in catastrophe.

But, then again, this is the Raiders and isn’t chaos their middle name?