Bucs Sign Speedy Ex-Bills Starting Receiver, Release Running Back

Bucs Rumors

Getty The Bucs continue to make roster moves.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are finally addressing the attrition they have experienced at wide receiver heading into the playoffs. The team announced they have signed veteran wide receiver John Brown and released running back Darwin Thompson to make room for the wideout.

The news comes after Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians revealed that receiver Cyril Grayson was doubtful to play against the Eagles. The release of Thompson also indicates the Buccaneers are optimistic that Leonard Fournette will suit up for the team’s first postseason matchup.

Brown is a logical fit in Tampa given his familiarity with Arians from their time together with the Cardinals. The speedy receiver had two brief stints with the Broncos and Jaguars this season but did not catch a pass.

Brown previously spent two seasons (2019-20) as a starting receiver for the Bills. The playmaker had the best season of his career in 2019 notching 72 receptions for 1,060 yards and six touchdowns in Buffalo.

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Perriman Appears to be Dealing With an Injury

The Bucs are already without Chris Godwin for the remainder of the season and released Antonio Brown. The Athletic’s Greg Auman reported that Breshad Perriman appears to be dealing with an injury of his own which may have been the tipping point for the Bucs adding Brown.

“Bucs receiver Breshad Perriman was working on the side with a trainer, and that might be why John Brown was added to practice squad,” Auman tweeted on January 13.

The Bucs Previously Shot Down the Idea of Signing a Free Agent WR

Despite rumblings of potential moves, Arians previously shot down the idea that the Bucs would pursue a free agent receiver. Things clearly changed in light of the recent injuries at the position.

“No, we have plenty of bodies and good players that have proven what they can do for us,” Arians explained on January 5, per Buccaneers.com. “No. Not at all.”

Brown Ran the 40-Yard Dash in 4.34 Seconds

Brown is known for getting behind defenses thanks to his elite speed. The receiver ran the 40-yard dash in 4.34 seconds at the 2014 NFL combine. During his 2018 season with the Ravens, his offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg gushed about his route running ability.

“He will get in and out with the best of them, in and out of a break, I’m talking about,” Mornhinweg said in August 2018, per The Baltimore Sun’s Childs Walker. “A lot of speed guys have trouble getting in and out, because they’re so fast. But he gets in and out — bam — really well.”

Brown has battled injuries throughout his NFL career, and Arians admitted to being frustrated with the receiver’s availability during the 2017 season in Arizona. The wideout will have a different role in Tampa as the Bucs are likely hoping he will be an emergency option in the postseason.

“Some guys are slow healers, some guys are fast healers,” Arians noted in August 2017, per UPI.com. “I don’t have any choice. Can’t run, you can’t play. Now, if you can’t run long enough, we’ve got to replace you.”

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