Antonio Brown is $750,000 richer after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Super Bowl victory. The bigger question is whether Brown will be back with the Buccaneers next season as Tom Brady and company attempt to win their second straight title. Brown is a free agent but early indications are both parties want to make a return work. The challenge is the Bucs have a number of key free agents who are looking for raises as well.
The receiver signed a one-year, $1.66 million contract with the Buccaneers in October 2020. This included a $750,000 base salary along with a $250,000 roster bonus in a deal full of bonus opportunities. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero detailed Brown’s incentives after he signed the deal.
“New Bucs WR Antonio Brown’s 1-year contract: $750K in prorated base salary $250K in per-game active bonuses Incentives (must make playoffs) $250K for 45+ catches $250K for 650+ receiving yards $250K for 6+ TDs $750K for Super Bowl win Base: $1 million. Max: $2.5 million,” Pelissero tweeted on October 27.
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A.B. on Future With Bucs: ‘I Would Love to Come Back’
After the Bucs’ Super Bowl win, Brown emphasized that ideally, he would like to return for a second season. The Buccaneers have the advantage of being one of the few teams willing to sign Brown despite his ongoing legal investigations.
“Man I’d love to, I look forward to going through the process, this is a great spot for me and I would love to come back and give it another shot at a 2-peat,” Brown said, per Pro Football Talk. “. . . I would love to be back here next year. It would mean everything to be back. I’m just excited and super grateful.”
Brown is not the only free-agent receiver the Bucs are trying to sign to a new deal. Chris Godwin is also a free agent and early rumblings point to Tampa Bay using the franchise tag to keep the receiver for another season. ESPN’s Jenna Laine wonders if this could impact the team’s ability to also retain Brown.
“They won’t let Godwin out of the building, whether that’s playing under a new contract or the franchise tag, which would cost them approximately $16.5 million,” Laine detailed. “Sources close to the situation believe that’s where things are headed, and Godwin indicated he’d be OK playing under the tag, although the plan is to keep him in Tampa Bay long-term. Brown’s arguably the biggest question mark on the team. With Godwin and Evans, they’re already going to be paying two No. 1 receivers — can they pay Brown too?”
Brown Has the Support of Brady
What we do know is that Brady has publicly backed Brown as a teammate. After Brown was brought to Tampa, the Bucs denied Brady had anything to do with the signing, but this is hard to take at face value.
During the offseason, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians shot down the idea that the team would be open to signing Brown. The coach had a rocky relationship with Brown dating back to their time together with the Steelers.
Months after Arians’ comments, Brown signed with the Bucs, and we think it is safe to say Brady had a little bit to do with the receiver joining the team mid-season. Brady praised Brown’s progress over the past year just a few days before the Super Bowl.
“Antonio and I connected right away,” Brady explained, via Pro Football Talk. “He has a great love for the game — just a real perfectionist for how he plays, how he takes care of himself. Incredible football IQ. And then, again, a great skillset just as a player. And, I think, made incredible strides over the last 12 months to get from where he was at to where he’s at now.”