Publicly, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers maintained Tom Brady had nothing to do with the Antonio Brown signing, but it appears the quarterback has been backing his new receiver behind the scenes. CBS Sports’ Jason LaCanfora reported Brady is the “primary reason” Brown is with the Buccaneers and the quarterback assured the team that he “would make sure Brown attends all meetings and testing and abides by all Covid regulations.”
“Brady told them he is going to make sure this is not a problem,” a source told LaCanfora. “He guaranteed BA (coach Bruce Arians) that he would make sure this guy did everything he has to do, even if Brady has to drive him there himself. These two are going to be joined at the hip. And they made it clear to Brady that Brown is on a very short leash. If he (slips up), he’s gone.”
Arians on the Bucs Adding Brown: ‘Tom Didn’t Have Anything to Do With It’
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians has said on multiple occasions that Brady was not a factor in signing Brown. It is hard to believe Brady’s presence did not impact the team’s decision given how vocal Arians was in the past about being against Tampa adding the receiver.
“I think he’s matured, and I believe in second chances,” Arians told ESPN’s Jenna Laine. “Everybody wants to say that Tom picked him. Tom didn’t have anything to do with it. This was something Jason and I had been talking [about] for a couple weeks, ever since the injuries to our other guys. When the time was right, would we see if we could pull the trigger and fit him in to what we want to get done? And we’ll see. If Antonio does what I think he’s gonna do, I think he’s gonna be fine.”
A.B. on Brady: ‘He’s Been a Great Guy in My Corner’
During his first public comments since joining the Bucs, Brown emphasized how Brady impacted his decision to sign with Tampa. The wide receiver noted that Brady has been a “great guy in my corner.”
“Tom is my boy, one of the greatest leaders to be around,” Brown explained in his press conference. “You know, he’s encouraging, always inspiring. He brings out the best in the people around him. …He’s been a great guy in my corner and one of my close friends.”
Not only is Brady helping Brown in his transition but the receiver is living with the Bucs quarterback. Brady explained his decision to have Brown not only as a teammate but now his roommate.
“He’s just getting settled and l know he’s looking for places,” Brady said, per CBS Sports. “It’s nice to have him around. It’s a big transition for him moving across the state not knowing anyone. I’m just trying to be a good teammate and help somebody out.”
It remains to be seen whether the Buccaneers experiment with Brown will be successful, but Brady is doing everything in his power behind the scenes to give the receiver an opportunity to succeed. It will be worth watching just how much Brown is utilized in the Bucs offense when he makes his debut against the Saints.