For a while prior to last season, it looked like Antonio Brown was going to be an important member of the Las Vegas Raiders for a long time. That obviously fell apart very quickly as he never even played a game with the team. What followed was a downward spiral for one of the most talented wide receivers in NFL history.
He was suspended for eight games this season but that suspension is almost up. Though he has a strong reputation as a troublemaker, it looks like there’s a team that could very likely take a chance on him. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are “working towards an agreement” with Brown.
The Buccaneers are already stacked at wide receiver but Brown has a close relationship with quarterback Tom Brady. Tampa Bay is clearly in it to win it and they’re willing to take the risk. Ironically, they are playing the Raiders on Sunday but it won’t be possible for Brown to play due to a number of factors.
UPDATE: The two sides have come to an agreement on a one-year deal, per Schefter.
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Could This Potentially Blow up in the Buccaneers’ Face?
Brown has definitely shaped up over the last several months. After causing controversy after controversy, Brown finally got slapped with reality and it does appear he’s been humbled a bit. However, it’s easy for him to be humble right now because he doesn’t have a job.
There’s no doubt he’ll still be dynamic on the field but once he puts up 200 receiving yards with two touchdowns in a game, who knows what could happen. It won’t take a lot for the ego to get out of control again. Brady is as strong a leader as there is so maybe he’ll be able to keep Brown in check. That said, Bruce Arians and Brown don’t have a great relationship from when they were both in Pittsburgh. This is a potentially very volatile situation they’re putting themselves in.
Why Take This Risk?
Now, it made sense why the Seattle Seahawks or Baltimore Ravens would’ve taken a shot on Brown. While they both have some talent at wide receiver, they’re lacking a true number one. That’s not the case with Tampa Bay. They have two elite wide receivers already. There really isn’t a need for them to take this risk.
Yes, Brady is nearing retirement and would obviously like to win another Super Bowl before he hangs it up but there’s no evidence Brown is a guy who can get them over the top. Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have been banged up this year but once they get healthy, they’re arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL. Brown isn’t a guy who likes to share the wealth on the field.
If Brown behaves and plays well, then the move is a home run but there’s no evidence that he’s going to stay out of trouble. He’s just a giant headache waiting to happen.