(CBS SPORTS) – The autumn wind apparently can blow in a different direction at a moment’s notice with the Raiders and Antonio Brown. We’re around 24 hours since hearing about the blowup that went down between Raiders star receiver and general manager Mike Mayock. That spat looked like it could spell the end of Brown’s brief tenure in Oakland, especially if the team decided to suspend him for Week 1 and possibly void nearly $30 million of guaranteed money.
Well, things have seemingly cooled down in this latest development in the Brown saga. Now, head coach Jon Gruden told reporters on Friday that not only is Brown back, but he will play in Monday’s season opener against the Denver Broncos.
“Antonio’s back today,” Gurden said. “We’re really excited about that. Ready to move on. He’s had a lot of time to think about things and we’re happy to have him back.”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) September 6, 2019
Gruden’s comments come after Brown reportedly issued an emotional apology to the team on Friday with Oakland’s team captain standing beside him.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson provided more details about the altercation between Mayock and Brown that sparked up this latest debacle. It all stemmed from the receiver being hit with fines from the team that exceeded $54,000 for unexcused absences. He was informed of those fines via a letter from Mayock, which Brown posted to his Instagram. Anderson reports that Brown then walked over to Mayock and began throwing “cuss words” in his direction.
Mayock reportedly did his best to diffuse the situation, but the spat ultimately led to the Raiders to mull suspending Brown along with keeping him away from the facility on Thursday. On Friday, Brown’s agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN that his client is looking to now put this stuff behind him and go forward to the regular season.
“There isn’t an issue as far as I’m concerned, outside of what happened a couple days ago in practice,” Rosenhaus said, via Pro Football Talk. “Antonio is looking forward to putting all of this stuff behind him. He wants to play football. He wants to play for the Raiders. He wants to have a good relationship with the team. That’s why he signed with them. That’s why he was traded there. . . . We want him to have a good relationship with Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock, his teammates.”
As recently as Thursday night, the Raiders were reportedly planning to be without Brown for Week 1, but clearly things seem to be heading in a different, more positive direction for both sides. This latest development has also made waves at how the oddsmakers are looking at Oakland’s Week 1 matchup with Denver.
The DEN-OAK line moved from around PK to DEN -2.5 yesterday when the Brown news broke. Within 30 minutes of Gruden's announcement Brown would play, the line is back down to DEN -1. We'll see if that's where it settles.
— R.J. White (@rjwhite1) September 6, 2019
Even with Gruden’s definitive statement on Friday, however, would it really shock anyone if this saga flipped three or four more times before Oakland begins their 2019 season?