There was speculation earlier in the offseason about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signing Antonio Brown given Tom Brady’s relationship with the wide receiver. Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians shot down those reports.
“Yeah, it’s not going to happen,” Arians said back in April. “It’s just not going to happen. There’s no room and probably not enough money. But it’s just not going to happen. It’s not a fit here.”
However, former NFL executive Michael Lombardi believes the franchise will ultimately change course and sign Brown, especially in the wake of Cam Newton inking a deal with the Patriots.
Brown Facing Obstacles to Return
Brown will likely face disciplinary action from the NFL if a team decides to take a chance on him. In addition to the latest charges (three counts stemming from the alleged assault of a delivery truck driver in January), Brown is tangled in a civil lawsuit with his former trainer, Britney Taylor, though Brown has filed a countersuit.
Several teams appear to be off the table, such as the Raiders and Steelers, two of Brown’s former teams, where things didn’t exactly end well. The Buccaneers would be a tantalizing fit, as Brown would add another explosive weapon to what figures to be a potent passing game.
Other Potential Suitors
The Redskins’ wide receiving corps is lacking, to say the least. Last year’s third-round pick, Terry McLaurin, is the top option in Washington, though he arguably would be better served as a No. 2 at this stage in his career.
Brown recently worked out with quarterback Dwayne Haskins, as Pro Football Action showcased. Haskins and Brown were just two of the football players participating in drills together, though the sighting gave fans and analysts alike a glimpse at what could be.
Brown would give the Redskins a true No. 1 and allow the franchise to evaluate Haskins with an adequate supporting cast.
The Seahawks continued to be linked to Brown but as our own Jonathan Adams relayed, citing a report from Seahawks insider John Clayton, the club may prefer Josh Gordon to Brown if they are going to make a move for a troubled wideout.
Russell Wilson, who was in the rumor mill as a trade candidate recently, would “love” if the team signed Brown, according to Clayton. Brown is also close with backup quarterback Geno Smith, who was at the workouts in Florida last week.
Seattle makes sense depending on the role Brown is willing to play initially. Tyler Lockett and rising sophomore D.K. Metcalf have proven that they both deserve starting snaps. However, Metcalf’s body of work isn’t extensive, so perhaps Brown can earn the title of the No. 1 option eventually.
New England Patriots
Hear me out. Bill Belichick is motivated to prove he can succeed without Tom Brady just as the greatest quarterback of all time is motivated to prove he can do it without the only coach he’s ever known.
Belichick knows that signing Brown would give Cam Newton a better chance at success. He also probably knows that signing Brown would irk Brady, as the quarterback lobbied for Brown last season (both before and after the Pats cut him).
It’s unlikely and possibly a scenario that has already been completely ruled out by the franchise. However, the fit would be fascinating, as Brown could help elevate the team in the post-Brady world.
The Ravens make sense for Brown on multiple levels. They are a true championship contender, which makes taking the risk of acquiring Brown more desirable. The ceiling is a Super Bowl ring and if Brown helps the franchise get there while he rehabilitates his career, then it’s a win-win.
Additionally, Baltimore could use a top wide receiver, and Brown’s cousin, Marquise, is already on the roster, coming off a promising, yet injury-plagued rookie season. Add the fact that Brown would get a chance to square off against Pittsburgh at least twice and there’s not a better situation a fling between the seven-time Pro Bowl player and an NFL team.
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