Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden spoke to reporters about the planned suspension of Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown on Thursday, after Brown had a heated exchange with Raiders general manager Mike Mayock.
“I’m emotional about it and I hope you understand why,” Gruden said, according to multiple reports, including this one from NBC Sports Bay Area. “Antonio is a great receiver and I think, deep down, he’s a really good guy. I’m frustrated. I’m not going to say any more about it. I hope it all works out.”
Gruden’s insight on how he’s feeling about the situation with Brown, who expressed displeasure with the Raiders for fining him after he missed a walk-through and practice, came after he was initially hesitant to speak on it.
“I’ve been talking about one person every day,” Gruden said. “I don’t have much to give you other than that he’s not here today. When we have an opportunity, to give you more information, we will. Respectfully.”
Details about the exchange between Brown and Mayock, which one reporter called a “near-altercation,” poured in Thursday after news broke of his pending suspension.
The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Brown threatened to punch Mayock in the face. “After a screaming match, Brown told Mayock that he would hit him in the face and then punted the ball … and said, fine me for that,” Rapoport tweeted.
Later in the day, Rapaport tweeted that the Raiders don’t know if they will formally suspend Brown or make him inactive for the team’s week 1 game against division rival the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football.
ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter said league sources “believe the Raiders could suspend Antonio Brown with the idea of trying to void the $30.125 million of guaranteed money in his contract. Which obviously would end his time in Oakland.”
But Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reportedly said on the NFL Network that he and Brown’s “goal is to salvage this relationship.”
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