Bucs Consider Shakeup by Possibly Cutting Star WR, Key Defender: Report

Bruce Arians

Getty Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said the team might have to look behind "Door No. 2" at quarterback.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are considering releasing safety Mike Edwards and receiver Antonio Brown for submitting fake vaccine cards, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport. The NFL suspended both players for three games, but the Bucs remain undecided on Brown and Edwards’ future with the team.

“One source said no decision has been made on whether Brown will return to the team after his suspension, and another said it is possible the team keeps the players — with the insinuation being that it’s possible they do not,” Rapoport detailed on December 5. “Arians was particularly frustrated, considering the efforts his team made in getting to 100% vaccination status. He also said he hoped the league would continue to look for players who were not honest about their vaccination status.”

The Washington Post’s Mark Maske reported that Brown initially submitted a fake vaccination cards, but the receiver is now fully vaccinated.

“Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards and John Franklin III all submitted fake vaccination cards and all three are now legitimately vaccinated, according to a source familiar with the findings of the review that led to the players’ three-game suspensions,” Maske tweeted on December 2.

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Arians on Players Using Fake Vaccine Cards: ‘It Pisses Me Off’

Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians opened his final Week 13 press conference by addressing the suspensions and added that the future of either player has not been decided. The Bucs coach admitted it “pisses me off” regarding the players’ decision, emphasizing how hard the team has worked to fight COVID.

“Alright, obviously we have two guys suspended. The league did their due diligence and we move on,” Arians explained during his December 3 press conference. “I will not address those guys for the next three weeks. They’ll just be working out, and then we’ll address their future at that time. Other than that, there’s really nothing to say.”

The Bucs Are Considering Releasing Brown: Report

Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio also reported the Buccaneers are considering releasing Brown. Based on Arians’ comments, it sounds like the franchise will not make a decision until Week 16 after the star receiver has served his suspension.

“Now, as to Brown’s future, when he joined the team in October of 2020, head coach Bruce Arians told our Peter King that if Brown screws up one time, he’s gone,” Florio noted during the December 5 edition of NBC’s Football Night in America. “And I’m told, that they actually are considering cutting him. They won’t have to make a decision until he’s eligible to return to the team. That’s in 15 days, the day after they play the Saints on Sunday Night Football.”

Arians on Brown in 2020: ‘He Screws Up One Time, He’s Gone’

Florio is referring to an October 26, 2020 interview Arians did with NBC Sports’ Peter King after Brown signed with the Buccaneers. Arians explained the team’s rationale for signing Brown despite the coach insisting over the offseason that they would not add the controversial receiver.

“Injuries,” Arians said at the time. “I mean, we got two Pro Bowl receivers [Mike Evans, Chris Godwin]. We went to Chicago with none of them, really. They were hurt. And here’s a guy that’s a Pro Bowl type player . . . We’re on the hook for nothing in this deal. He screws up one time, he’s gone. I don’t think he will because he wants to play.”

Brown did end up playing through that deal without any hiccups and signed another one-year contract with Tampa last offseason. It will be interesting to see how the Bucs handle Brown’s future when his suspension ends in two more weeks.

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Russ Vaughn
Russ Vaughn
9 months ago

Let’s get rid of coach. He’s not needed.🤔
Getting rid of Brown is stupid!
No player should be forced to put the toxic crap in their body. I wouldn’t take it… No Way!

Mark Bones
Mark Bones
9 months ago
Reply to  Russ Vaughn

Hmm well they win without that piece of garbage so why do they need him?

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