By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- Even for the drama magnet that is Antonio Brown, the news of Thursday was a bit extreme.
The highly talented-yet-headache-inducing wide receiver is reportedly on thin ice with his employer, after getting into an altercation of sorts with Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday. As the reports go, Brown did not appreciate being fined for missing a practice and a walkthrough, and the Raiders didn't appreciate Brown taking that displeasure public. As a result, Brown and Mayock had their "meeting," with Brown reportedly held back by teammates to prevent things from getting violent.
In the short term, it looks like Brown may be suspended for the Raiders' Week 1 game against Denver on Monday night. Long term, it's possible that Brown may never actually play for the Raiders, the team that traded a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to acquire Brown (after he skipped his final game with the Steelers and after he broadcast his coach's postgame speech live on Facebook, etc., etc.).
And because of that reality, football pundits and fans immediately concluded that ... ooooooooobbbbbbbbbbviously Brown will not only join the Patriots but will probably dominate the league and win a Super Bowl or two.
The emotions behind those tweets run the gamut, from lighthearted, to dread-filled, to humorous, to fearful, and everything in between. And while it's a funny thought ... it's not going to happen.
Yes, Randy Moss left the Raiders looking like damaged goods, only to be acquired for a fourth-round pick by the Patriots, where he promptly set an NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a season. Yes, Belichick has shown that he does not care one single iota about a player's past issues in other places. Yes, the Patriots have succeeded at times in such situations.
But this one? This one's unique. While the situation may be comical from the perspective of looking at the Raiders like a billion-dollar clown show, Brown might actually be going through some real issues. From the frostbitten feet to the persecution complex on the helmet change to the public complaints for getting fined for skipping practice, it's not exactly clear what's going on with the 31-year-old ... but it doesn't appear to be something that can be magically fixed overnight with the snap of a finger and the sound of Belichick's whistle on a dreary Foxboro practice field.
Brown seemingly got exactly what he wanted when he forced his way out of Pittsburgh last year, and yet, the end result is ... this. Rectifying Brown's situation may be beyond the abilities of even The Great And Mighty Belichick.
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