“There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel #callgod #igottaeat,” Brown noted on April 15.
The Buccaneers have made it a priority to re-sign their own players this offseason rather than pursuing other free agents. Tampa Bay is bringing back all 22 starters from the Super Bowl, but Brown is the one key Bucs player who does not have a home for 2021.
So far, the two sides have been unable to agree to a new deal as Brown has been looking for a more lucrative contract than the Buccaneers have been willing to pay. Brown’s comments were met with a little recruitment effort from Bucs linebacker Devin White.
“Sign back with the @buccaneers,” White replied to Brown’s message.
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The Bucs Are Not Believed to be Close to a Deal with A.B.
All indications are Brown’s talks with the Buccaneers are at a standstill, but if the receiver found an appealing offer elsewhere he likely would already have signed a new contract. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported earlier this month that the Bucs and Brown are “not close” to a new deal.
“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 on April 1. “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.”
Arians on Brown: ‘There’s Offers Out There’
As we have seen with other free agents, things can change quickly in negotiations, but as the draft gets closer there is more of a chance Brown waits until after the event to sign when teams have a better sense of their roster. During a March press conference, Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians indicated the team had made offers to Brown and was not in a hurry to reach a decision.
“We’re just going to take our time,” Arians explained. “You know, there’s offers out there, and we’ll see how it goes.”
After the Super Bowl, Brown admitted his preference is to re-sign with the Buccaneers but clearly wants a different deal than the one Tampa has had on the table. During an exclusive interview with Heavy, Bucs linebacker Lavonte David noted he would like to see Brown back in a Tampa Bay uniform.
“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.”