Bruce Arians said it would never happen. Tom Brady never stopped pushing. Ultimately, the future Hall of Famer got his way — the Buccaneers inked Antonio Brown to a one-year deal this week, equipping Brady with the most talented group of targets he’s ever had.
“He looks fantastic,” Arians said of Brown, following his first practice in Tampa (via ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine). “I think we had really good conversations today, he and I. He was in the meetings and everything. And he’s working with…the strength staff. He looks in great shape. Yeah, [he’ll be] ready to go next week.”
The Bucs are hoping that Brown can quickly shed the rust as Chris Godwin recovers from finger surgery. Godwin might not be available for their Week 9 contest against the Saints, setting the stage for Brown to make an impact in his return game.
At the same time, many feel that Brown’s volatility will ultimately backfire on the Buccaneers, who currently lead the NFC South with a 5-2 record.
“Mark my words, it’s going to be a problem,” said one anonymous executive who has worked with Brown. “You have no idea the stories we could tell you about this guy. Everything is a struggle. … There were plenty of valid reasons why [Arians] didn’t want anything to do with him a year ago. Unless this guy has completely reinvented himself, and done a complete turnaround, this is going to get ugly.”
Will Brown’s baggage ultimately outweigh his upside? Vote in PFR’s latest poll (link for app users) and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.