Although the Oakland Raiders have made some welcome changes to their roster this offseason, there had been plenty of speculation regarding how the dynamic between wide receiver Antonio Brown and linebacker Vontaze Burfict would play out.
The two had been bitter rivals after spending the bulk of their careers squaring off in the AFC North. The grueling matchups between Brown’s Pittsburgh Steelers and Burfict’s Cincinnati Bengals left repercussions that can still be seen today.
Things had even seemingly boiled over when Burfict delivered a devastating, illegal hit on Brown during one of their showdowns. Despite all the transpired in the past, it appears the two have already started to hit it off in Oakland.
Brown dispelled any notion of bad blood with Burfict while subtley taking a shot at his former teammates with a post,via Instagram:
This is certainly an interesting development regarding the relationship between the Raiders’ two newest stars. Many assumed that the two big personalities would bump heads considering what had occurred a few years back, however, it is clear they are ready to move on in Oakland.
It is undoubtedly encouraging to see both players have seemingly become quick friends amidst all the concern about the kind of effect any bad blood it could have on the locker room. Fortunately, it is safe to say that the only bad blood they have is with their former teams.
Brown’s illustrious career in Pittsburgh came to an unceremonious end following the rift between him and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger down the final stretch of the 2018 NFL season. While Roethlisberger has attempted to take the high road by extending an olive branch, his former teammate has rejected any notion of reconciliation between the two with posts on social media such as these.
Roethlisberger is not the only player that has been the subject of Brown’s criticisms as he has also managed to bring wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster into the fold. It should be noted that Burfict also has a bone to pick with Smith-Schuster after his 2017 campaign was ended by a blindside block from the latter.
Perhaps this is just one of many factors that have drawn the two former competitors together as they look to get a fresh start in the West Coast for a Raiders’ team that is hoping to enjoy a potential resurgence in the 2019 NFL season. Regardless, there is no question that the team is happy to see Brown and Burfict getting chummy at this time of year.