Antonio Brown’s return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers didn’t surprise NFL analyst Skip Bayless of FS1’s Undisputed though co-host Shannon Sharpe had a different team in mind for Brown.
As Brown’s free agency lingered on, Sharpe proposed that the Kansas City Chiefs could find the money to sign him. That idea evaporated on April 28 when Brown’s agent confirmed plans for the wide receiver to re-sign with the Bucs.
“I told you from the start, my gut feeling was he would return to Tom Brady,” Skip Bayless told Sharpe on FS1’s Undisputed on Wednesday. “Because Tom Brady butters his bread the way nobody’s ever really ever buttered his bread as far as trying to make … he helps keep him in line and keep him in the rotation.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) April 28, 2021
Brown’s one-year contract with the Bucs will pay a fully guaranteed base of $3.1 million according to the NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero. A $2 million signing bonus and incentives could bring his new deal up to $6.25 million.
Sharpe maintains Brown may have found a better offer with the Chiefs.
“They had more to offer, but if you give it to him in the same package, what is it Skip, would you rather have a million dollars in ones or a million dollars in 20s,” Sharpe said on Undisputed. “Yes, they had more money, but they were going to give him basically the same amount of money.”
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The Bucs Did More With Less
Kansas City had more money to work, $9.153 million, than Tampa, $934.811, per Over The Cap. Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton saw it as a prime opportunity for the Chiefs to lure Brown away from the Bucs.
Tampa received help in the cap-clearing department to re-sign Brown when tight end Cameron Brate agreed to re-work his deal with the team. It freed $4.69 million according to ESPN’s Field Yates.
The Bucs and TE Cameron Brate have agreed to a reworked deal that clears $4.69M in cap space.
Brate gets a $2.425M signing bonus and his salary is now $1.075M in 2021, with a team option for the final two years of his deal.
Tampa clears $$ to sign AB plus other moves as needed.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 28, 2021
The Bucs made a couple of similar moves earlier in the offseason with Brady and linebacker Lavonte David signing cap-friendly extensions.
“It’s like Tampa, or I mean ‘Tompa Bay’ is like the only team operating without a salary cap because I don’t know where they get all the money,” Bayless said on Undisputed. “It’s like a bottomless pit. Just when I think it’s used up or they hit bottom, they find more money.”
Brown Rejoins “The Band”
Brown became the latest Bucs player from the Super Bowl run who saw significant playing time to re-sign. The Bucs officially re-signed all 22 of its starters from the championship team on March 26 when running back Leonard Fournette committed to re-sign.
Bayless reiterated Brown’s impact on the field in a short time for the Bucs last season made it worth finding a way to re-sign him. Brown posted 45 receptions, 483 yards, and four touchdowns in eight regular season games, he added another 81 yards and two touchdowns off eight receptions in the playoffs.
“He averaged seven targets a game. That’s pretty great when you have this many receivers,” Bayless told Sharpe. “He (Brady) all but force-fed him the football, so AB knows ‘my guy is going to take care of me sort of on and off the field.”
“Skip, with that projection, that’s over 100 balls per year — catches — with that many targets,” Sharpe said.
“So for me, Brady strikes again,” Bayless said.