Free agent wide receiver Antonio Brown called out former teammate Tom Brady amid his departure from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown, who famously ran off the field midway through the Buccaneers' game against the New York Jets in January, appears to have claimed that Brady is benefiting from a double standard as he remains unsigned.
"Tom brady manipulate the game gets 14 days go home get his mind rt lol," Brown tweeted. "Now u see the difference. Put that Shit on. … Still no justice for the real."
Brown initially seemed to throw shade at Brady's trainer, Alex Guerrero, who he referred to as "Alex Guerra" in a since-deleted tweet.
“Alex Guerra You think i won’t have u smacked at TB12 boy stop playing with me ! Boy getting paid by bucks n taking players money too,” Brown wrote.
"Still no justice for the Real," Brown wrote to complete the series of tweets.
Last week, Ben Volin, who covered Brady's final seven seasons with the New England Patriots for the Boston Globe, told Colin Cowherd on The Herd last week that he was present at the Bucs' practice last Wednesday (August 10) and questioned whether Brady was second-guessing his decision to come out of retirement.
“I do wonder where his head is at right now,” Volin said. “The older Brady gets, the less we criticize and wonder if he can actually play. I mean, he was so good at 44, there's no doubt in our minds that if Brady is fully committed that he can have a terrific season at 45, but there are definitely signs that his head isn't fully into it. And, I try not to be the body language police, but I was at Bucs practice yesterday, and he looked miserable.”
Volin then speculated whether the situation in Tampa was ideal for Brady, specifically noting the recent retirement of longtime Patriots and Buccaneers teammate Rob Gronkowski and the recent injury to starting center Ryan Jensen.
“I don’t think he loves the humidity in Tampa; it is very swampy out here every morning. His buddy Gronk has retired, that’s his running mate, that’s his guy, and now he looks all over the field and he’s throwing to Kyle Rudolph. Chris Godwin is banged up, and we’re not sure when he’s going to be himself again. Brady's center goes down.
"There are just a lot of things going on with the team, and we also know playing with the Bucs was not his No. 1 wish this year. If he had gotten his way, he'd be running the Dolphins.”
Brady was absent from the Bucs' practice last Thursday and was expected to be away from the team for several days, head coach Todd Bowles said via NFL Network senior insider Ian Rapoport.
"#Bucs QB Tom Brady is not at practice today for personal, non-football reasons," Rapoport tweeted. "Coach Todd Bowles will discuss it after practice, but my understanding is he won't be present for a few days."
Rapoport added that "Brady is fine and the team is on board with his reasons for being absent," but noted that it would "be a little bit" of time before the seven-time Super Bowl champion returns.
Bowles later confirmed that Brady was expected to be away from the team until after the Bucs' preseason game against the Tennessee Titans on August 20, according to Rapoport.
The Buccaneers had already ruled Brady out for their first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins last Saturday prior to his reported absence on Thursday.
Brady, who turned 45 last week, announced his retirement, then un-retirement this offseason ahead of his 23rd NFL season.
Brady is the NFL's all-time passing leader for yards (84,520) and touchdowns (624), as well as quarterback wins (243), among numerous other records.
The San Mateo native spent his first 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, leading the franchise to an NFL record six Super Bowl championships (tied with the Steelers), before joining the Buccaneers as a free agent in March 2020, which resulted in Tampa Bay winning its second Super Bowl in franchise history, becoming the first NFL team to win a Super Bowl in its home stadium, in February 2021.
Brown hasn't played in an NFL game since stripping off his uniform and running off the field during the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium on January 5 and being released by the Buccaneers the following day.
In March, Brown said he wanted to "retire as a Pittsburgh Steeler" several years after a tumultuous departure from the franchise in which he found his most NFL success.
"Just wanna retire a Steeler," Brown initially tweeted on Monday (May 16). "Not play jus [sic] retire so we clear."
Brown was traded by the Steelers in 2019 after reports that he was dissatisfied with his situation.
The Miami native was later cut by Pittsburgh's trade partner, the then-Oakland Raiders, prior to ever appearing in a regular-season game, having since spent several games in 2019 with the New England Patriots and the majority of the last two seasons with the Buccaneers, with both tenures ending in controversy.
Brown was selected by the Steelers at No. 196 overall in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft and quickly emerged as one of the league's best receivers during his nine seasons in Pittsburgh.
The 33-year-old was a four-time First-team All-Pro (2014-17), a Second-team All-Pro in 2013, and a seven-time Pro Bowl selection (2011, 2013-18), having led all NFL players in receiving yards twice (2014, 2017), receptions twice (2014, 2015) and receiving touchdowns in 2018.
After being released by the Bucs in January, Brown has served as the president of Kanye West's sports fashion line within his Donda Sports creative content company, as well as continued to focus on his own music career.
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