Amid Antonio Brown’s drawn-out free agency, Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White wants something done soon.
White responded “waiting on you” to Brown’s signing plea, “sign AB” on the Bucs Instagram post about re-signing all 22 starters from the 2020 Super Bowl team per The Draft Network’s J.C. Cornell.
Hopefully the signing happens soon. pic.twitter.com/GUySETe7LL
— JC Cornell (@CornellNFL) April 5, 2021
White, a second-team All-Pro in 2020, told ESPN 104.5 that Brown really influenced him during the Super Bowl run.
“Man, you watch Tom Brady and Antonio Brown, watch how they get after it, more so A.B., man, he’s one of the hardest practicing people I’ve ever seen in my life,” White told ESPN 104.5. “And you know, me and him are real good friends. So that just kind of boosted me up even more. Like, ‘OK, like this is where you make yourself out here on this practice field. And the game’s going to really be easy because you done put in the work at 100 miles per hour, so when you get in the game, you’re going to go 150, but you’re going to do it the right way.”
Brown made a difference in the second half of the season after signing with the team in October 2020 as a free agent. He finished the regular season with 45 receptions, 483 yards, and four touchdowns. He also caught a couple touchdowns in the playoffs despite missing time due a knee injury.
Mike Evans and Chris Godwin own the starting receiving jobs over Brown. Godwin stayed with the Bucs for 2021 via the franchise tag, and Evans entered the third year of his $82.5 million contract extension per Over The Cap.
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Tampa shored up the last of its 2020 starters on March 26 with running back Leonard Fournette agreeing to re-sign for one-year, $3.25 million. Fournette has been working out with Brown at the receiver’s gym, and Brown first voiced interest, via a March Instagram video, in re-signing and that Fournette would do so, too.
“I hope he comes back,” Fournette said in a press conference last week per Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith. “Guys like that, you need around. He’s just I think misunderstood, a lot. I didn’t know too much about A.B. before we played with each other, but he’s a great guy to be around and I hope he comes back.”
Disconnect on Contract Talks
Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said on March 30 that the organization has made offers to Brown.
“We’re just gonna take our time. There’s offers out there. We’ll see how it goes,” Arians said per WTSP’s Grace Remington.
“When you look at what the receivers are making on the market right now, the veteran guys, you’re looking at anywhere from about one year, $5 million guaranteed to for Keelan Cole to one year $8 million for T.Y. Hilton, so $5 to $8 million,” Garafolo said.
Brown made $2 million in half of a season, Garafolo noted. The four-time All-Pro also has a trial scheduled in December 2021 due to a civil lawsuit that could interrupt his season.
“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, and he said, ‘no, I want what these other guys are getting,'” Garafolo said.