Antonio Brown's representatives wanted everyone to know that their client, amid not one, but two bizarre sagas that are keeping him off the field, would be back at Raiders training camp Tuesday.
And sure enough, as practice wound down Brown walked out onto the sidelines of the practice field.
Flanked by cameras, of course.
The wide receiver also had his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, in tow, because he too has never seen a camera he doesn't like. And while Brown didn't seem all that chatty Tuesday, his agent was.
"I predict tonight's episode of Hard Knocks will be the most viewed ever," Rosenhaus told Brown – but more accurately the NFL Films/HBO crew – as they walked towards the dais in the corner of the Raiders' practice facility.
He might be right. Because when it comes to drama and intrigue around Brown, business – as the wide receiver would say – is boomin'.
Brown didn't practice Tuesday as his reportedly frostbitten feet are not ready for the field and he does not yet have an NFL approved helmet. No, he was only around to be seen and to tell the media that he's moving past all the "adversity" he's faced in recent weeks.
Forgive me if I don't feel much sympathy.
For others, the foot injury would be a cautionary tale on the apparently forgotten dangers of putting your body in a cryotherapy chamber that can be as cold as minus-160 degrees Fahrenheit. Another player might be exalted as a hero for challenging the powers that be over helmet rules that are – let's be honest – loosely backed and were likely enacted as part of a diversionary public retaliations tactic.
And while that's part of the calculus when you try to wrap your mind around Brown's inauspicious start to his Raiders' career, because it's Brown, it's impossible to view things solely in that light. Track records matter and his is damning.
Brown is a unique on-field talent: He's one of the best wide receivers in the history of the NFL. But he's also a shameless self-promoter who has an uncanny ability to create unique and eminently engaging drama off the field. He's a showman.
When he was asked Tuesday when he thought he might be able to return to the field, he replied: "I guess you guys (need to) stay tuned."
Yes, Tuesday's showing of face lacked any semblance of authenticity – it was all part of the show. Sure enough, only moments after that press conference, he released a video on his YouTube channel – "Next Career Move... Coming Soon!"
Lest Brown miss an opportunity to capitalize on his name being searched online.
The video was a trailer, of sorts, for himself and something called "Stick Talk". The logo of the latter combined a semi-automatic assault rifle and a video camera. Cue up another batch of controversy.
The soap opera never seems to stop with AB, and it's all broadcast via some form of social media, as to make it easier to discuss.
It was all enough for the Steelers to trade him to the Raiders for what was effectively pennies on the dollar – but credit to Brown, his entrepreneurial spirit means that he'll be getting a cut of the proceeds going forward.
The Raiders, of course, would prefer if Brown's efforts and energies were channeled into improving their offense ahead of the 2019 season.
But alas, you don't trade for Brown and then sign him if you're looking for a ho-hum company man.
Brown is expected to be available to the Raiders for the team's season opener – a Monday Night Football game against the Broncos at the Coliseum. And between all the nonsense, it's important to note that he's made it a routine to catch 100-plus balls, gain around 1,400 yards, and catch 10-or-more touchdowns per season. The only NFL player that has proven capable of stopping Brown is himself.
And for the Raiders – a team that needs to drum up excitement as they head to a media market smaller than Greenville, South Carolina – it's probably all worth it.
So Raiders coach Jon Gruden will continue to publicly say that he backs Brown and is supportive of his efforts.
But while some are good at hiding their true thoughts, Gruden isn't. I think I heard his teeth grind when he was asked follow-up questions about Brown's return to camp Tuesday.
Yes, there's a simmering frustration, spoken and unspoken, amongst the Raiders with the last few weeks.
But the hope is that Tuesday will stand as the day that the Raiders were allowed to focus solely on football – the day this batch of Brown drama started to fade away.
Perhaps it was.
Until the next bit of drama pops up, that is.