Antonio Brown

NFC Notes: Cowboys, Giants, Toney, Bears

Most of the talk about Cowboys quarterbacks this offseason has understandably revolved around Dak Prescott, his new contract, and his comeback from a devastating ankle injury. But flying a bit under the radar is the team’s unsettled backup QB situation. Last year the team had an established veteran backup in Andy Dalton, who ended up becoming the starter when Prescott went down. Dalton is off in Chicago now, leaving Dallas with very little on the depth chart. The team currently has only Garrett Gilbert, Cooper Rush, and Ben DiNucci behind Prescott.

Rush has thrown three career passes, and DiNucci (a 2020 seventh-rounder) and Gilbert have each made one start. That’s led to some speculation the Cowboys could add a veteran backup. Barring a bigger name veteran addition, Gilbert is currently the “favorite” to backup Prescott in 2021, Rob Phillips of the team’s official site writes. Phillips frames it as a battle between Gilbert and Rush without even mentioning DiNucci, who was disastrous in his lone 2020 start in primetime against the Eagles. Gilbert almost led Dallas to an upset victory over the Steelers in his one start last year, and was a star in the ill-fated AAF.

Here’s more from around the NFC as we kickoff the new week and continue to await training camps:

  • Elsewhere in the NFC East, it sounds like the Giants are scheming up various ways to get Kadarius Toney involved as a rookie. New York has Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard, and Darius Slayton already at receiver, so it might be hard for the 20th overall pick of this past draft to get heavy targets right away. That doesn’t mean Toney won’t get touches. The Giants are “motivated to get the ball in his hands, whether it’s out of the backfield, on jet sweeps, screen passes or maybe in the Wildcat formation,” Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Raanan writes they want him to be a year-one factor, and that “they believe the best way to make that happen is to tap into his versatility.” In other words, use him as a gadget player. The Florida product should be fun to watch.
  • Heading down to the NFC South, Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown may have just had his probation terminated early to close his previous criminal case, but he still has civil case headaches to deal with. In addition to a lawsuit from a truck driver alleging assault that came in mid-May, Brown was apparently hit with another lawsuit later that month. This time, it’s from a sports marketing company alleging that Brown didn’t pay them commission on $2MM in earnings they got him, Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times reports. The company, KCB Marketing, is seeking over $100K in damages.

Antonio Brown’s Probation Terminated Early

Usually when there’s Antonio Brown legal news it’s bad news, but not today. The frequently embattled Buccaneers receiver got a positive update Tuesday, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets that his probation has been terminated a year early.

This all stems from when Brown pled no contest to criminal assault charges from an incident with a delivery driver. The plea allowed Brown to avoid jail time after he was initially facing more serious charges. Instead he was hit with two years of probation, 100 hours of community service, and a mandatory psychiatric evaluation.

Brown’s attorney Sean Burstyn released a statement, which you can read in Rapoport’s tweet, saying the battery case has been finalized, and that the early termination is “further demonstration of Antonio Brown’s hard work and great progress since his NFL suspension.

We see nothing but blue sky for AB.” Despite all the optimism, Brown’s legal headaches from the incident aren’t quite over yet. Just last month, the driver hit him with a lawsuit alleging Brown broke the driver’s car key and “proceeded to verbally and physically attack (Tumanov), causing severe personal injuries.”

As for his actual football career, Brown re-signed with the defending champion Bucs on a one-year deal worth up to $6.25MM with $3.1MM guaranteed. He had 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns in his first half-season in Tampa after serving his eight-game suspension to start the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Details On Antonio Brown’s New Buccaneers Deal

It took a little longer than expected, but Antonio Brown has finally re-signed with the Buccaneers. Now, courtesy of ESPN.com’s Field Yates (Twitter link) we have the details on the deal.

As previously reported, Brown can make up to $6.25MM in 2021. He received a $2MM signing bonus plus $1.1MM in base salary, which effectively guarantees $3.1MM. Beyond that, he can make a total of $900K in per-game bonuses, plus incentives.

Brown can collect an additional $334K for each of the following plateaus: 50 catches, 70 catches, 600 receiving yards, 800 receiving yards, five touchdowns, and seven touchdowns. Plus, if he reaches 45% playing time and is active for a (second) Super Bowl victory, he’ll see another $250K.

Often times, NFL incentives are hard to reach. Sometimes, they’re formally designated as such (NLTBE — Not Likely To Be Earned). In this case, it’s not hard to imagine AB maxing out his contract. In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Extrapolated for a full 16-game slate, that’s 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns. If Brown can do that in 2021, he’ll hit every milestone and then some.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Re-Sign Antonio Brown

It’s officially official. On Tuesday, Antonio Brown formally signed his brand new contract with the Buccaneers, per a club announcement. 

[RELATED: Julian Edelman On Bucs Rumors]

In late April, Brown agreed to a new one-year deal with the defending champs. However, the deal was still pending a physical following a recent knee procedure. Head coach Bruce Arians termed the operation as “getting his knee cleaned out” — in other words, a minor surgery. Still, it’s not clear why Brown waited until the spring to get it done.

We wanted AB back,” Arians said. “He was a model citizen the whole time he’s been here. We wanted him back and he’s never had surgery in his life. It’s just a matter of physical done. I wanted him back the whole time.”

Assuming the terms have not changed, Brown will have the chance to earn up to $6.25MM with $3.1MM fully guaranteed and a $2MM signing bonus. The remaining half could be achieved via incentives.

In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. In theory, that’s 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns when extrapolated for a full season. If Brown can do that in 2021, the Bucs will be over the moon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown Has Knee Surgery, Bucs Not Concerned

There was some brief concern earlier this morning when it was reported that Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown hadn’t actually signed his contract yet. Head coach Bruce Arians said Brown still needed to pass his physical, and it appeared for a second his return to Tampa could be in some doubt.

That doesn’t appear to be the case. The oft-embattled wideout did in fact have knee surgery on Tuesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets. Rapsheet says the procedure was a success, and that it was just “a clean-out after some issues last season.” Fortunately for the friend of Tom Brady, it’ll apparently only be “a few weeks of recovery, then he’ll be ready to go.”

Bucs GM Jason Licht also confirmed that it’s no big deal. “No, not concerned. The plan all along is to have him come in — I think he is coming in Monday to sign,” Licht told Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com.

Brown attracts drama like a magnet, but it doesn’t seem like this is going to be a lingering issue. He might be more concerned about the new lawsuit he just got hit with a few days ago.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown’s Bucs Deal Still Pending Physical

The Buccaneers may have agreed to terms with Antonio Brown, but it’s not a done deal just yet. Brown’s contract is still pending a physical following a recent knee procedure, head coach Bruce Arians says. 

He has to pass the physical,” Arians said (via Pewter Report). “Hopefully we’ll have a scope on Tuesday, he’s getting his knee cleaned out, and everything will work out fine. It’s just a matter of a physical.”

In late April, Brown reportedly agreed to a new one-year deal with the defending champs. Assuming the deal holds up, Brown can earn up to $6.25MM with $3.1MM fully guaranteed and a $2MM signing bonus. The remaining half of the $6.25MM could be achieved via incentives.

Brown was dealing with knee issues throughout the playoffs but, for one reason or another, he held off on the surgery. The Bucs may be scratching their heads about Brown’s chosen timetable, but Arians still seems enthusiastic about another go ’round with Brown.

We wanted AB back,” Arians said. “He was a model citizen the whole time he’s been here. We wanted him back and he’s never had surgery in his life. It’s just a matter of physical done. I wanted him back the whole time.”

In eight regular season games last year, Brown notched 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Meanwhile, 20 of those 45 grabs came in the final three weeks of the regular season, a sign that AB could have some monster games in store this year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Bucs, AB, Parsons, Bears

Antonio Brown just won a Super Bowl and then inked a new one-year deal worth up to $6.25MM with the Buccaneers last month, but his off-field issues don’t appear to be over just yet. The oft-embattled receiver is dealing with yet another lawsuit, Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times writes. As Baker notes, this stems from an already settled criminal case where a moving truck driver alleged assault and battery.

Brown was arrested for the incident last year, and he pleaded no contest in June, receiving two years of probation. Brown broke the driver’s car key and “proceeded to verbally and physically attack (Tumanov), causing severe personal injuries,” the lawsuit, which is seeking more than $30K in damages, alleges. Brown’s attorney issued a statement decrying the suit and painting it as nothing more than cash-grab. Since the criminal matter was already resolved, this shouldn’t have any impact on Brown’s standing with the league or status with the Buccaneers.

Here’s more from around the NFC as we wrap up the week:

  • The Cowboys just drafted Micah Parsons 12th overall, and it sounds like they’re planning a diverse role for the Penn State linebacker. Parsons has been working at middle linebacker so far during the offseason program, Jon Machota of The Athletic tweets. Parsons told the media that coaches plan on using him in the box as more of a run defender on first and second down, and have him rushing the passer on third down. Parsons opted out of the 2020 season, but he had five sacks in 2019, so he definitely has some pass-rush upside. Dallas hasn’t gotten very much pass-rush help from fellow highly drafted linebackers Leighton Vander Esch (1.5 sacks in 35 career games) or Jaylon Smith (nine sacks in 64 career games), so it sounds like they want to do things a bit differently with Parsons.
  • The Bears announced a significant change to their offseason program on Sunday night. Chicago revealed they will “no longer hold” previously scheduled OTAs from May 25th-27th. They’ll now begin OTAs on June 1st. Since only two sets had been planned, this means the OTAs are getting cut in half. This could be a sort of compromise between the players and the team to ensure that the second set has “strong participation,” Brad Briggs of the Chicago Tribune suggests in a tweet. As you’re surely aware by now, there’s been widespread opposition among players to many of these voluntary workouts, so it’s not surprising to see teams adapting and making gestures like this.

Buccaneers Re-Sign Antonio Brown

Antonio Brown is back with the Bucs. On Wednesday morning, the wide receiver agreed to a brand new one-year deal worth up to $6.25MM (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero and Mike Garafolo). 

The deal includes $3.1MM fully guaranteed with $2MM coming in the form of a signing bonus. The remaining half of the $6.25MM can be achieved through incentives, though it’s not clear what those benchmarks are or how achievable they will be. Regardless, it’s a solid outcome for Brown, who had no known suitors outside of the incumbent Buccaneers.

The Buccaneers signed Brown in late October, though they had to wait until Week 9 for his suspension to end. That original deal paid just $1MM in base salary and bonuses, with the potential to reach as much as $2.5MM. But, because the Bucs won the Super Bowl, AB earned an additional $750K bonus, plus more for his catch total.

In eight games, Brown recorded 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Extrapolated for a full 16-game season, he would have been on pace for 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns. It’s worth noting that 20 of his 45 catches came in the final three weeks of the regular season, a sign that there could be many more highlights in store for AB and TB.

The Buccaneers managed to keep most of the band together after the Super Bowl, but Brown was a conspicuous straggler. Now, he’s back in the fold to join Tom Brady, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski for a repeat run.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown, Britney Taylor Settle Suit

Apr. 22: Brown is not out of the woods quite yet with respect to potential NFL discipline. As Stroud tweets, the league is still reviewing the matter for a potential violation of the personal conduct policy. Speculatively, that could mean that Brown will have to wait a little longer to re-sign with the Bucs or agree to terms with any other club.

As Greg Auman of The Athletic observes, GM Jason Licht was fairly non-committal after the news of the settlement. “We’ve had discussions throughout the offseason … we’ve put an emphasis on bringing back players from last year … [Brown] would be no different,” Licht said. “[The settlement is] not necessarily the deciding factor on whether we’re going to continue to talk” (Twitter links).

Apr. 21: The civil suit that Britney Taylor filed against Antonio Brown over a year ago has been settled, according to one of Brown’s representatives (via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport, on Twitter).

A former Brown trainer, Taylor accused him of multiple instances of sexual assault. This matter was folded into the NFL’s investigation of the veteran wide receiver. Brown’s 2020 suspension did not cover Taylor’s accusation, and the threat of an additional ban loomed because of it.

This suit, which the COVID-19 pandemic delayed, was supposed to go to trial in December 2021. However, the 32-year-old receiver appears in the clear on this front now.

This matter surfaced after Brown signed with the Patriots in 2019. Brown denied the allegations, but both he and Taylor separately met with the NFL in September 2019. After another sexual misconduct allegation emerged, Brown’s sending of threatening text messages to that accuser ended up leading him out of New England.

However, the Buccaneers signed him midway through the 2020 season. He ended up making key contributions to the team’s second Super Bowl championship. The Bucs have made a host of re-signings this offseason, doing plenty to keep their championship core together. Brown remains on the team’s radar, and the Tampa Bay Times’ Rick Stroud expects Wednesday’s resolution to pave the way for another Brown deal with the Bucs in the near future (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bucs, Antonio Brown At Standstill

Antonio Brown wants to return to the Buccaneers. The Buccaneers would love to have him back. Unfortunately, the two sides remain at a standstill, according to Joey Knight of the Tampa Bay Times.

Even after re-signing the majority of their stars, the Buccaneers have a shade over $5MM in cap room. Half of that space will go towards signing the incoming draft class, which probably means that the Bucs are offering Brown a one-year, ~$2MM deal.

We’re just gonna take our time,” head coach Bruce Arians said recently. “There’s offers out there. We’ll see how it goes.”

After his suspension, Brown recorded 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns across eight games. Extrapolated for a full 16-game season, he would have been on pace for 90 catches, 966 yards, and eight touchdowns. At least, that’s the type of math that Brown’s camp is likely presenting. The Bucs’ negotiators would probably note that all of Brown’s TDs and 20 of his 45 catches came in the final three weeks of the regular season.

With Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Rob Gronkowski ready to go, the Bucs could comfortably move ahead without Brown. Meanwhile, it’s not clear if there are any other suitors for AB, so there’s no real sense of urgency in Tampa.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.