Bruce Arians is not buying the idea that Tom Brady is the reason the Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown. After the Bucs’ win over the Raiders, Arians emphasized that Brady “didn’t have anything to do with” the team signing Brown.
“I think he’s matured, and I believe in second chances,” Arians told ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “Everybody wants to say that Tom picked him. Tom didn’t have anything to do with it. This was something Jason and I had been talking [about] for a couple weeks, ever since the injuries to our other guys. When the time was right, would we see if we could pull the trigger and fit him in to what we want to get done? And we’ll see. If Antonio does what I think he’s gonna do, I think he’s gonna be fine.”
The Buccaneers officially signed Brown to a one-year deal, and the wide receiver will be eligible to play as soon as Week 9 against the Saints. Arians noted that injuries to Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller prompted the team to reconsider signing Brown.
Arians on the Bucs Signing A.B.: ‘I Owe It to the Rest of My Players’
During an interview with NBC Sports’ Peter King, Arians detailed the timeline of the decision to sign Brown and how his opinion changed since Brady first brought up the idea in the offseason. Arians added that he felt he owed it to the rest of the Buccaneers roster to sign Brown given his bargain contract and potential to help the team.
“I know everybody wants to say Tom Brady lobbied us to get this done,” Arians told NBC Sports. “Tom Brady lobbied me back in, gosh, June, July, August. I said no. It didn’t fit then. Now, we’re in the hunt. I owe it to the rest of my players—if there’s a guy that fits our salary cap cheap, who’s a Pro Bowl-type player, let’s bring him on our squad. Who says he has to start? I mean, we just got another Pro Bowl player to put in if one of those guys go down. AB brings another dynamic to our team that we don’t have. I owe it to the rest of our players to put the best team out there possible. I don’t foresee any problems. I don’t anticipate any situation where he and I are gonna have a problem. He knows that if there is, it’s a very short-lived contract.”
Brady on Brown: ‘He’s a Tremendous Football Player’
Brady declined to elaborate on his recent conversations with Brown but did emphasize that he believes the receiver can help the Buccaneers on the football field. Brady added that “there’s a lot of work ahead” after Brown joins the team.
“He’s a tremendous football player,” Brady said, per ESPN. “I played with him for a brief period of time. Looking forward to working with him again, to see what role he can come in [and play]. He’s a very hardworking guy. … We’re all gonna go out there on the practice field and do the best we can do. And we’re gonna see how it all fits together. There’s a lot of hard work ahead. None of it just magically happens.”