On Friday afternoon Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reported that former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is planning to visit with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday, and that both sides are “motivated” to come to a contract agreement.
Building on that report, on Friday evening Ian Rapoport of NFL Network advised that a one-year deal between the Bucs and AB is “very close,” and indicated that the contract offers “significant upside” for Brown.
Bruce Arians Once Said: ‘It’s Not a Fit Here’
Never mind that it was as recently as March that Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians insisted that Antonio Brown coming to the Bucs was “not gonna happen.”
Apparently, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has been “pounding the table” for Arians & Co. to sign the former All-Pro, who is 32 years old and hasn’t played in the NFL since last September, when he had a one game cameo with Brady and the New England Patriots.
According to Rapoport, Brown is expected to arrive in Tampa on Friday night, triggering Day 1 of his COVID-19 protocol. Assuming all goes well, he could sign by the beginning of next week and would be eligible to play against the New Orleans Saints in Week 9, after his NFL suspension is lifted.
In July, Brown was suspended for eight games for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy after he pleaded no contest to three charges stemming from an incident in Florida involving a moving truck company and moving truck driver. He has also been accused of sending threatening texts and been accused of rape by a former trainer.
Antonio Brown Also in Talks with Seattle
However, it’s not a foregone conclusion that Brown will sign with Tampa Bay. Adam Schefter, Senior NFL Insider for ESPN, reports that AB is also engaged in talks with the Seattle Seahawks.
“Both of Seattle’s quarterbacks, Russell Wilson and Geno Smith, are friends with Brown, worked out with him during the offseason and have remained in touch with him about the idea of bringing him to Seattle,” noted Schefter earlier this week.
Antonio Brown: Career Recap
Antonio Brown was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the sixth round of the 2010 draft (195th overall).
During his nine seasons in Pittsburgh he appeared in 130 regular season games, catching 837 passes for 11,207 yards with 74 receiving touchdowns. He also scored eight touchdowns on the ground and added five touchdowns on punt and kickoff returns.
In March 2019 the Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for third- and fifth-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, which Pittsburgh used to select wide receiver Diontae Johnson and tight end Zach Gentry.
However, he was released by the Raiders before appearing in a game and subsequently signed with the Patriots. Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and one touchdown in his only appearance in a New England uniform but was released just 11 days after signing his contract.
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