Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown will miss today’s NFC Championship Game due to a knee injury, but apparently Tampa Bay likes what it has seen so far. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Bucs want to bring AB back in 2021 (video link).
At this point, there’s no need to rehash all of the events that led to Brown’s signing a modest one-year pact with the Bucs in October (if you want to relive the drama, just click on Brown’s tag at the bottom of this post). Suffice it to say, the 32-year-old has managed to stay out of trouble since he hooked on with Tampa, and between that and his on-field performance, he has convinced the Bucs that a re-up is a good idea.
Of course, the civil lawsuit stemming from the rape allegation levied against Brown is still pending and is currently set for trial on December 6, 2021. The league has made it clear that any new evidence that might emerge from that case — and there will be pre-trial depositions where such evidence could come to light — may lead to another suspension, which could make teams even warier of signing him than they otherwise would be.
The Bucs, though, appear prepared to take that chance. Tampa has a number of high-profile free agents to make decisions on, including WR Chris Godwin. Theoretically, the team could elect to part ways with Godwin and move forward with Brown, Scotty Miller, and Tyler Johnson behind top target Mike Evans.
For the season, Brown caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four TDs in eight games. And he showed he can still light it up when called upon to handle a heavy workload. Filling in for an injured Evans in Week 17, Brown appeared in a season-high 84% of Tampa’s offensive snaps and tallied 11 catches for 138 yards and two TDs.
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