Antonio Brown

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.

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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).

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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.

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Latest On Buccaneers, Antonio Brown

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians recently said that the team is waiting to hear back on its latest offer to Antonio Brown. However, the two sides aren’t close to an agreement, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com

There’s still mutual interest, but the Bucs aren’t on board with Brown’s asking price. It’s not clear what Brown is seeking; nor is it clear whether Brown has offers from anyone but the Bucs. Between Brown’s lingering legal issues and his overall baggage, it’s hard to imagine him having a strong market in free agency. Jason Licht & Co. have offered the wide receiver something in the range of last year’s deal, which paid him $2MM for a half-season.

Earlier this offseason, we saw DeSean Jackson score a one-year, $4.5MM deal with the Rams. One could argue that Brown offers more upside than DJax, but every player’s market is dictated by demand. Right now, it doesn’t seem like there is a ton of demand for Brown outside of Tampa.

Brown, 33 this summer had 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games. Extrapolated for a full 16-game slate, that would have given him a 90/966/8 line.

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Buccaneers Waiting On Antonio Brown

The Buccaneers managed to keep just about everyone from their Super Bowl squad. However, wide receiver Antonio Brown stands out as a notable straggler. On Tuesday, head coach Bruce Arians said that it hasn’t been for a lack of trying. 

We’re just gonna take our time,” Arians said (Twitter link via WTSP’s Grace Remington). “There’s offers out there. We’ll see how it goes.”

For his part, Brown has said that he wants to stay put. Shortly after the Bucs beat the Chiefs, AB expressed his desire to go for a “two-peat”.

Man I’d love to, I look forward to going through the process, this is a great spot for me and I would love to come back and give it another shot at a two-peat,” Brown said after the game. “I would love to be back here next year. It would mean everything to be back. I’m just excited and super grateful.”

Brown, 33 this summer, posted solid — but not spectacular — numbers in 2020. In eight post-suspension games, the veteran had 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. Extrapolated for a full 16-game slate, that would have given him a 90/966/8 line.

Brown wants to come back and the Bucs have reciprocated with an offer on the table. The real question is – Does anyone else have real interest in adding Brown and the baggage that comes along with him? Ultimately, Brown may have to settle for less than what he wants if he hopes to play in 2021.

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This Date In Transactions History: Steelers Extend Antonio Brown, Franchise Le’Veon Bell

On February 27, 2017, things were looking pretty good in Pittsburgh. Following a 2016 campaign that saw the Steelers make it to the AFC Championship, the organization committed to two of their offensive stars on the same day. On this date four years ago, the organization extended wideout Antonio Brown and franchised running back Le’Veon Bell. No one knew at the time that both these players would soon be playing for different teams.

By 2017, the two duo had already proven themselves among the top players at their respective positions. Brown was coming off four-straight campaigns that saw him surpass 1,000 yards receiving, and he hauled in 43 touchdowns during that four-year span. There had yet to be much drama for the perennial Pro Bowler; while a 2016 locker-room video led to discipline, Brown had otherwise been a good soldier. As a result, the Steelers felt more than comfortable making him the (then) highest-paid pass-catcher of all-time. The wideout ended up inking a lucrative four-year extension worth $68MM ($19MM guaranteed) that would last through the 2021 season.

“Antonio is a good guy, a good person,” team president Art Rooney II said at the time. “I enjoy our personal relationship. His teammates like to have him on the team. He is a hard worker.

“AB is a big contributor to our success, has been for several years now, and I think he’s capable of continuing to be that kind of player. I think he’s someone who wants to be a great player and works hard to be that. Hopefully, he’ll continue to evolve as a player and as a person.”

Despite only appearing in 12 games during the 2016 season, Bell still put up some gaudy numbers. He finished the campaign with 1,884 all-purpose yards and nine total touchdowns, earning him a Pro Bowl spot. While the two sides were eager to figure out a long-term deal, the Steelers ultimately placed the franchise tag on their star running back, locking him into a $12MM salary for 2017. After becoming the fastest player in NFL history to hit 3,000 career rushing yards and 1,500 career receiving yards, coach Mike Tomlin said at the time that the team wanted to reward their running back for his continued improvement.

“Just understanding how to play the position, the nuances of the position, the protection of the ball, the protection of himself,” the head coach said. “He is a guy that has got some talent, but equally or more important than that he has a desire to be great and a work ethic to boot. He is a much better conditioned athlete today that he was in 2014. I mean it when I say all areas.”

2017 proved to be a fine year for Brown, Bell, and the Steelers. Both players earned Pro Bowl nods after combining for 3,479 all-purpose yards and 20 touchdowns en route to a 13-win campaign. The wheels fell off soon after. During the 2018 offseason, the Steelers once again slapped the franchise tag on Bell, but the running back refused to sign the tender. Despite occasional reports of reconciliation and a potential long-term extension, Bell’s hold out ended up lasting the entire season. He became a free agent the following offseason and inked a four-year deal with the Jets.

Brown was productive again in 2018, finishing with a career-high 15 receiving touchdowns. However, there started to be some reports of tension toward the end of that campaign. Brown apparently engaged in an argument with Ben Roethlisberger and skipped practices before their Week 17 content, leading to Brown’s benching. We later learned that Brown had become disgruntled with his role in Pittsburgh and wanted a trade. The Steelers agreed that a breakup was necessary, and they dealt Brown to the Raiders during the 2019 offseason.

Things haven’t necessarily gone swimmingly for either player since leaving Pittsburgh. Bell’s stint in New York last less than two seasons, and after cutting cut in October, he settled into a minor backup role with the Chiefs. Brown’s stint with the Raiders barely last six months; following bizarre behavior and arguments with executives, he was released by the team. He subsequently joined the Patriots, but he was cut following allegations of sexual misconduct. Following a retirement, an un-retirement, another retirement, and another un-retirement, Brown was slapped with an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy. He caught on with the Buccaneers in October, and he ended up hauling in two playoff touchdowns during Tampa Bay’s path to a Super Bowl championship (which somewhat ironically came against Bell’s Chiefs).

The Steelers struggled a bit during the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, combining for only 17 wins between the two seasons. They got back to their winning ways in 2020, finished 12-4 before losing in the Wild Card game.

When these transactions were completed four years ago today, there was plenty of excitement for both the players and the team. We’re sure neither side anticipated how both of these scenarios would ultimately play out.

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Bucs Notes: Brady, JPP, Brown

There are several high-profile Buccaneers that have undergone offseason surgery already. According to head coach Bruce Arians, five-time Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady has gone under the knife to clean up the knee issue we heard about several weeks ago (Twitter link via Ben Volin of the Boston Globe). Though Brady will not be ready to participate in team drills until June, the fact that Tampa is willing to discuss an extension with him suggests the club is not particularly worried about his prognosis.

Meanwhile, OLB Jason Pierre-Paul underwent a knee surgery of his own today, as Jenna Laine of ESPN.com passes along. JPP had arthroscopic surgery on the same knee in July, and he landed on the injury report throughout the 2020 season as a result of the injury. Still, he didn’t miss a game and led the Bucs with 9.5 regular season sacks, so he will head into a contract year with plenty of momentum and, hopefully, a clean bill of health.

On a related note, Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that RB Ronald Jones recently had a pin removed from his broken left pinky finger, which required surgery in December. Jones played through the injury and finished off a successful third pro season. After a disappointing rookie year, Jones is living up to his status as a former second-rounder and, like JPP, has a good chance to set himself up for a big payday if he can replicate his 2020 performance in 2021.

Here are a few more notes on the defending champs:

  • As you know by now, the Bucs have a number of big-name free agents, which could make this offseason a difficult one for GM Jason Licht to navigate. The team has made it clear that it wants to bring back players like WR Chris Godwin and LB Lavonte David, and it sounds like Godwin might be willing to offer Tampa a hometown discount. Fellow wideout Mike Evans has also expressed a willingness to take a paycut, but Arians isn’t sure that outside FAs will be willing to take less than market value just for the opportunity to play with Brady and the Bucs. “Dollars still talk,” the 68-year-old HC said (Twitter link via Greg Auman of The Athletic). Because of how many in-house priorities Tampa has, Arians suggested his club might not be especially active in the free agent market anyway.
  • In addition to Evans’ willingness to make a personal sacrifice to keep the band together, there are a number of other players who are open to restructuring their own deals, per Arians (Twitter link via Stroud). Such restructures would not result in less money for those players, but it would open up more cap space for the Bucs to retain most, if not all, of their top FAs.
  • Another free agent the Bucs want to keep, Antonio Brown, obviously has off-field matters to tend to. Britney Taylor’s lawsuit against Brown is set for trial in December, and as Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic writes, Taylor wants to subpoena copies of all documentation the Bucs have related to Brown (she is subpoenaing Brown’s three former teams as well). Taylor is not seeking to depose any team executives, and she needs court approval to send the subpoenas.

Antonio Brown Wants To Return To Bucs

We’ve got one more for you in a slew of Bucs posts following their Super Bowl win. We had already heard a few weeks ago that Tampa was interested in bringing Antonio Brown back next year, and it sounds like that interest is mutual.

Speaking after the Buccaneers’ dominant win over the Chiefs, Brown said he wants to do another round with Tom Brady. “Man I’d love to, I look forward to going through the process, this is a great spot for me and I would love to come back and give it another shot at a two-peat,” Brown said after the game, via Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports. “I would love to be back here next year. It would mean everything to be back. I’m just excited and super grateful.”

Brown is set to be a free agent, and it’ll be very interesting to see what kind of contract he lands this offseason. On the one hand he’s an incredibly accomplished and talented receiver who just helped his team win a Super Bowl. On the other hand, he’s got a long list of off-field issues hanging over his head, he’ll turn 33 this summer, and he put up solid but certainly not spectacular numbers this past season.

In eight games with the Bucs in 2020 after sitting out the first half of the season due to a suspension, he finished with 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns. That would put him on pace for a 90/966/8 line if he had played a full 16 games. Again, respectable, but not the kind of All-Pro numbers he was routinely putting up with the Steelers prior to his trade to the Raiders and subsequent implosion. He had five catches for 22 yards and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.

Obviously a large part of that was due to playing in an offense with a lot of mouths to feed with Chris Godwin and Mike Evans among others also present. Either way, he’s not likely to command the kind of hefty contract he would’ve gotten had he hit the open market after the 2018 season. Bruce Arians seems to think they won’t have too much trouble fitting everyone in financially, and Evans is apparently willing to take a pay cut.

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Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate Dealing With Back Discomfort

It sounds like Cameron Brate may be a bit banged up heading into the Super Bowl. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers tight end was a limited participant at practice Thursday due to a back injury. Rapoport adds that the ailment was described as “back discomfort,” and Brate “was pulled out of an abundance of caution.”

Brate felt better on Friday and, despite being listed as questionable, is expected to play Sunday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Thanks in part to the addition of Rob Gronkowski, Brate put up some of the lowest numbers of his career in 2020, compiling 28 receptions for 282 yards and two scores. However, the 29-year-old has seen a more significant role in the playoffs. After collecting five or more targets in only two of his 16 regular season games, Brate has seen at least five targets in each of his three postseason contests, hauling in 11 receptions for 149 yards and one touchdown.

If Brate were to be sidelined for the Super Bowl, Gronk would likely soak up most of Brate’s snaps. With O.J. Howard sitting on IR, the Bucs could also hypothetically turn to Antony Auclair or Tanner Hudson.

There is some good news on the injury front for Tampa Bay. Rapoport adds that wideout Antonio Brown was a full participant at practice. The 32-year-old sat out the NFC Championship as he nursed a knee injury. Brown appeared in eight games for the Buccaneers this season, compiling 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns.

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Antonio Brown, Sammy Watkins On Track For Super Bowl

Wide receiver Sammy Watkins participated in the Chiefs’ Wednesday practice, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Meanwhile, the Bucs also had one of their most dangerous weapons on hand. Antonio Brown practiced with the Buccaneers, though he was kept to light work as he recovers from a knee injury. 

Watkins has struggled to stay healthy throughout his career and hasn’t played a full 16-game season since his rookie campaign with the Bills back in 2014. Despite that, he remains a serious threat for any opposing defense. This year, Watkins was limited to nine regular season games and finished out with a modest 37/421/2 stat line. If his calf heals up in time for the Super Bowl, it’ll mark his first appearance in this year’s playoffs.

Brown missed the NFC championship game, but the Buccaneers still managed to edge the Packers and punch their ticket to the Super Bowl. In the regular season, the 32-year-old caught 45 passes for 483 yards and four touchdowns. His best game came in Week 17, when he hauled in eleven catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns as Mike Evans was held out.

Fortunately, Brown did not suffer serious structural damage, so the Bucs are hopeful that he can play. It also helps that they kept him grounded a couple of weeks ago to prevent additional swelling at higher altitude. If things keep going in this direction, Brown will be cleared for the second Super Bowl of his career.

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