The Antonio Brown experiment has officially started for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the football world will be watching to see what happens. After being arguably the best wide receiver in the NFL for years, Brown burned bridges with the Pittsburgh Steelers, Las Vegas Raiders and New England Patriots in less than a year. Due to those debacles, teams have avoided him.
Luckily for Brown, Tom Brady really wanted him in Tampa Bay and the quarterback got what he wanted. While Brady will do what he can to keep the wide receiver in check, many don’t believe the experience is going to work out. CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora revealed what one anonymous executive thought about the signing.
“Mark my words, it’s going to be a problem,” the executive noted. “I give it a week to 10 days before he’s late for the COVID test or doesn’t totally follow protocol. You have no idea the stories we could tell you about this guy. Everything is a struggle. And then once he gets comfortable there, forget about it. Anything goes. This is a new world that is totally foreign to him and with what’s being asked of players now. Good luck. 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.”
Brown has had trouble staying out of trouble before COVID-19 and with all the added protocols, it’ll be even easier for him to get in trouble.
ALL the latest Las Vegas Raiders news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Raiders newsletter here!
Ryan Shazier Says Brown Is All About Attention
It’s easy for executives to question the move to sign Brown but his former teammates know him better than anybody. Ryan Shazier played with Brown for four seasons in Pittsburgh so he’s very familiar with the wide receiver.
“The biggest thing for me on Antonio is he’s all for attention,” Shazier said on The Ringer podcast. “He’s super about attention, man on the field, off the field.”
Shazier believes that Brown could affect Tampa Bay’s chances at getting to the Super Bowl.
“The moment he makes it about himself, Tampa’s not going to go to the Super Bowl.”
Anonymous Coach Doesn’t ‘Like the Signing’
Another thing that makes the Buccaneers’ decision to sign Brown seem odd is the fact that they’ve already got a really good wide receiver corps. There was one coach who thinks that the move could hurt them on the field.
“As a coach, I don’t like the signing,” an offensive coordinator explained to The Athletic. “I don’t like the kind of guy that he is. The way he has behaved, I don’t care what you say, you can be disruptive and cause a problem with the team. … It’s an interesting situation already because I think [Chris] Godwin is their best receiver. Now you bring in another guy who can make Mike Evans even less of the featured guy.”
Brown is a ticking time bomb. He’s been on his best behavior recently but that doesn’t mean he’s changed completely. This is a really risky move for a Buccaneers team that has recently hit their stride.