The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have re-signed all of their key free agents from the Super Bowl run with the exception of one: Antonio Brown. The star receiver remains on the free-agent market, and talks with the Buccaneers appear to have stalled. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported the Bucs and Brown are “not close” in their contract discussions.
“Let’s start with Antonio Brown, he and the Buccaneers I am told had discussions this week about a possible return,” Garafolo explained on Good Morning Football. “They talked money this week. …The fans want him back, and they want to bring him back, the Buccaneers do, just at a different number than what he has in mind right now. When you look at what the receivers are making on the market right now, the veteran guys, you’re looking at anywhere from one-year, $5 million guaranteed for Keelan Cole to one-year, $8 million for T.Y. Hilton. So, $5 to $8 million.”
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A.B. & the Bucs Are ‘Not Close’ in Their Contract Talks
Brown is wanting a similar deal to what other receivers have received this offseason, while the Bucs are looking for more of a bargain deal close to what he signed in 2020. With Mike Evans’ lucrative long-term contract combined with Chris Godwin’s franchise tag, the Buccaneers are already paying a lot of money to receivers
“And this is a guy who came in, he performed well,” Garafolo added. “He did everything they asked of him. Now, he’s still got some legal stuff hanging over his head, and really there’s not a lot of teams beating down his door. So, the Buccaneers are trying to come in at a similar number [to last season] and he’s saying no, I want what these other guys are getting on the market. They’re not close right now.”
Brown’s Top Option Is Still the Bucs
Heavy recently spoke with Buccaneers star linebacker Lavonte David who believes the Bucs will continue to make an effort to re-sign Brown. David is one of several key Buccaneers players who signed a new deal this offseason.
“I don’t know what’s going on there,” David told Heavy. “From what it’s looking like, man, we trying to get everybody [back], and A.B. is a part of everybody. So, hopefully, whatever is going on on that part, they do what they got to do to get him back. Like I said, it was just a real different vibe with everybody [last season], for whatever reason. Maybe it was COVID, we couldn’t do much, but everybody had to be around each other all the time. Maybe that was the cause, but I’d love to have everybody back, man, A.B. included.”
If your a Bucs fan looking for some hope regarding Brown’s future, Garafolo noted that his sense is the receiver’s preference is still to remain in Tampa. The Buccaneers do have competition from other teams, but so far it appears there has not been an extremely lucrative offer for Brown.
“He has had interest from other teams, when I say they’re not beating down his door, meaning they’re not throwing a ton of money at him,” Garafolo noted. “And he would like to go back to Tampa is what I’m told. Just maybe at a different number, and how reachable are the incentives in the contract?”