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Antonio Brown's attorney said Buccaneers used 'surprise attack' doctor's appointment to justify release

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The attorney for Antonio Brown said the Tampa Bay Buccaneers released their former receiver after missing a doctor's appointment "outside of normal business hours," calling the move that led to the termination of the contract a "surprise attack."

Attorney Sean Burstyn tweeted Sunday in an effort to explain what happened surrounding Brown's release Thursday.

"We were in the midst of scheduling an appointment with the Bucs' chosen surgeon when we learned, via Twitter, that they terminated AB on Thursday for not seeing that very same surgeon," Burstyn tweeted. "The Bucs picked an arbitrary appointment time outside of normal business hours early Thursday morning. They also fumbled around with a Wednesday afternoon appt at the last minute. (Bucs' new interest in AB's health was a surprise. Wasn't AB 'not a Buc' on Sunday night?)"

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The attorney added that Brown tried to reschedule the appointment, with the Buccaneers saying the missed appointment was the basis of why they released the seven-time Pro Bowler.

Antonio Brown leaves the field during the Buccaneers-Jets game.
Antonio Brown leaves the field during the Buccaneers-Jets game.

"The Bucs did this because they know that Coach Arians' on-the-field termination of AB was degrading, inhumane, abusive, and unlawful. So they tried covering it up using their latest dirty trick: 'Surprise attack' medical care that they [never] reasonably planned for AB to receive," Burstyn tweeted. "This was pure gamesmanship to create a pretextual termination. All Antonio did was ask to be seen at a reasonable hour by a doctor with current medical records. When AB spoke up about his health this week, he was fired. On the field, then on Twitter."

Brown stormed off during the third quarter of last Sunday's victory over the New York Jets, saying through his lawyer he was unable to play because of a previous ankle injury. The Buccaneers refuted that claim, saying in a statement, "At no point during the game did (Brown) indicate to our medical personnel that he could not play."

Arians doubled down on that statement in a press conference Thursday, saying Brown "refused to go in the game."

"That's when I looked back and saw him basically wave off the coach," Arians said. "I then went back and approached him about what was going on. 'I ain't playing. What's going on? I ain't getting the ball.' That's when I said: 'You're done. Get the (expletive) out of here.' And that's the end of it."

Brown said an MRI revealed he will need offseason surgery on the ankle.

"The Bucs have used AB's past to get out of the jam they put themselves in last Sunday," Burstyn tweeted. "It's the kind of manipulation that made Antonio write 'I do not understand how people publicly claiming to be concerned about my mental health can do these things to me in private.'"

Contributing: Lorenzo Reyes

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Antonio Brown released from Bucs in 'surprise attack,' attorney says