Tom Brady was, by all indications, the driving force behind Antonio Brown signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Pro Bowl receiver is already showing love for his teammate in his first week on the active roster.
Brown met with the media on Wednesday for the first time since he signed with the Bucs, and he was rocking Brady’s famous “TB12” hat. Brown praised Brady for being a close friend and “one of the greatest leaders to be around.”
Brown also thanked Bruce Arians for giving him a shot and spoke about his relationship with the coach.
“We have a great relationship. As a kid, coming to Pittsburgh 10 years ago … Bruce Arians was always an asset in my corner,” Brown said, per Greg Auman of The Athletic.
The Bucs almost certainly would not have signed Brown without Brady pushing them to do so. Arians said before the season that Brown wouldn’t be a fit in Tampa Bay, and he also called the troubled receiver a “diva” last year. Brown blasted Arians in response, but apparently that is water under the bridge.
Brady and Brown were teammates for a very brief period with the New England Patriots, but they have remained close since. Given the extensive off-field issues Brown has had, this is likely his last shot to prove he can focus and contribute in the NFL. Brady seems intent on helping Brown do that.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers activated Antonio Brown from the reserve/suspended list on Tuesday, paving the way for him to play in a big game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday night. Brown could be in line for a significant role right out of the gate, but head coach Bruce Arians insists there is no set plan for the veteran receiver.
Arians told reporters on Tuesday that he is unsure of how may snaps Brown will play against New Orleans. He did, however, indicate Brown’s role could be a bit limited.
Arians also spoke about how he anticipates Brown helping Tampa Bay’s offense.
Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin is out nursing a broken finger, so there’s a chance Brown could see plenty of targets if Godwin doesn’t play. It should also help Brown that Brady was clearly one of the driving forces behind the team signing the Pro Bowler. Brady will almost certainly want Brown to be involved early and often.
Some recent reports revealed that Antonio Brown will be living with Tom Brady for at least part of the 2020 season now that the receiver has signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Brady has confirmed the arrangement.
During his weekly appearance on Westwood One with Jim Gray, Brady spoke about inviting Brown to stay at his home. The six-time Super Bowl champion said he’s just trying to be a good teammate and make Brown’s transition from across the state easier.
Obviously, there is much more to it than that. Brown can afford a place to stay, and he has had ample time to make arrangements. In reality, Brady wants to keep an eye on Brown and make sure he stays out of trouble and doesn’t blow what is likely his last chance in the NFL.
For whatever reason, Brady is determined to help Brown revive his career. The quarterback was said to be upset with the New England Patriots when they cut Brown last year, even after all the off-field issues Brown had.
Brady is so confident Brown can help the Bucs that he essentially convinced Bruce Arians to sign him even after Arians and Brown exchanged unpleasantries last year. If it doesn’t work out, Brady will definitely bear some of the responsibility.
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Tom Brady seems like he was never going to let Antonio Brown sign with a team other than the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but the troubled wide receiver still drew interest elsewhere. According to one report, Brown may have turned down an opportunity to catch passes from Aaron Rodgers.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter said on “The Pat McAfee Show” Monday that the Packers called Brown when he was a free agent to gauge his interest in playing for them.
“Green Bay made a call to Antonio Brown. I think they checked in,” Schefter said. “I don’t think it ever went anywhere, but they did check in to see if he’d have any interest in going to Green Bay. I think if you’re Antonio Brown you’d probably rather go to Tampa than Green Bay.”
The Packers have arguably the best wide receiver in football in Davante Adams, but they have very little in the passing game beyond him. Allen Lazard underwent core muscle surgery and has been out, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling has been inconsistent for years. Rodgers would certainly benefit from having another talented receiver to throw to.
Of course, none of that matters now. Brady was so determined to have Brown as a teammate again that he has made living arrangements for the Pro Bowler. In hindsight, Brown probably was never going to sign with any other team.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians seems like he has completely changed his tune about Antonio Brown, and it has become clear that Tom Brady is the driving force behind that.
Brady vouched for Brown in meetings with Bucs coaches and front office executives and is the main reason the team signed the troubled receiver, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports. Brady said he will personally make sure Brown attends all team meetings and follows COVID-19 protocols both at work and away from the team.
How can Brady be so sure Brown will keep his head on straight outside of work? Sources told La Canfora that Brown will be living with the six-time Super Bowl champion for at least a part of the season.
“Brady told them he is going to make sure this is not a problem,” a source told La Canfora. “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.”
Brady and Brown were teammates for a very brief time with the New England Patriots last year. Brady was reportedly upset when the Patriots moved on from Brown.
Arians was the offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers for a time when Brown was with the team. The Bucs coach called Brown a “diva” last year and Brown responded by bashing Arians on social media. Prior to this season, Arians said Brown would not be a fit for Tampa Bay.
It’s obvious Brady’s endorsement is the main reason the Bucs signed Brown. Time will tell if that works out.
Early in his career, Antonio Brown was used heavily as a kick and punt returner by the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those responsibilities diminished as he blossomed into an elite receiver, but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could change that.
Coach Bruce Arians on Friday left the door open to using Brown as a return man when asked if that might be an option.
“He’s a great punt returner and kick returner,” Arians said, via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk. “It’s just going to be one of those things where we can get him out there with a live ball and not a jugs machine — get him back to catching them. He’ll give us good depth in that area.”
It’s not a yes, but it’s also not a no. Jaydon Mickens has served as Tampa Bay’s return man this season and hasn’t done much wrong, but Brown is such a tempting option in that role.
Brown returned kicks for the Steelers during his first two NFL seasons, with one kickoff return for a touchdown. He was used on punt returns more consistently, and has four career scores as a punt returner. Ultimately, the decision may be based on Brown’s role as a receiver, and that could preclude him from taking on the return responsibilities.
Bruce Arians seems excited to have Antonio Brown in the building.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach said Wednesday that Brown has joined the team and is gearing up to play in Week 9. According to Arians, Brown looks to be in great shape.
Brown being in great shape is no surprise. By all accounts, he’s consistently worked out hard all season despite not having a team.
What remains to be seen is how Brown will respond to game action. It’s obviously completely different to catching passes in a routine workout environment. The Buccaneers are hoping he adapts quickly, because they might need him immediately as soon as he’s eligible to play.
Antonio Brown officially signed his one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday, and this is the final week of his suspension. The Pro Bowl receiver will be eligible to play in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints, and there’s a scenario where he could immediately step into a significant role.
Bucs wide receiver Chris Godwin suffered a fractured index finger while making a touchdown catch in Sunday’s win over the Las Vegas Raiders. He underwent surgery and will miss Monday night’s game against the New York Giants, according Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. Beyond that, Godwin’s availability is a bit uncertain.
While fractured fingers typically don’t keep players out long, the Bucs may play it safe with Godwin in Week 9.
Brown is eligible to take part in meetings with the Buccaneers this week. He can begin actual practices next week. If he proves he is in shape and can get up to speed with the offense quickly, he may see plenty of action on Nov. 8.
Brown’s contract with the Bucs includes several incentives, so he should be motivated to play and produce immediately. Though, those incentives are structured in such a way that it will benefit him to buy into the team mentality.
Antonio Brown signed a one-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers this week that includes both individual and team incentives, but Brown cannot earn one without the other.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Sunday that the maximum value of Brown’s contract with Tampa Bay is $2.5 million. Brown will earn around $1 million in base salary and roster bonuses. He gets a $750,000 bonus if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl and can earn three $250,000 bonuses for receptions, yardage and touchdowns. However, the Bucs must make the playoffs in order for Brown to earn any incentive at all.
The structure of the deal could be an attempt by the Bucs to get Brown to not only perform but also buy into a team mentality. Tampa is loaded with pass-catchers now with Brown, Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Even if Brown finds himself wanting the ball more, he’s not going to earn any incentives unless the team performs well as a whole.
Brown’s contract carries very little risk for the Bucs. If the Pro Bowler’s streak of off-field issues continues, the team can simply release him without losing much. Should Brown play like he did in 2018 and not become a headache, he’ll be a steal for Tampa.
Tom Brady and Antonio Brown have maintained a seemingly close relationship since their brief time playing together with the Patriots. Brady has been trying to help Brown turn his career around since the star receiver squandered his chance in New England, and that apparently includes putting him in touch with a life coach.
According to Andy Slater of FOX Sports 640, Brady called noted life coach and motivational speaker Tony Robbins and connected him with Brown earlier this year. Robbins and Brown are said to have had a long conversation about A.B. returning to the NFL.
Brady and Robbins are friends and made a public appearance together a few years back. They have promoted each other’s brands, and Brady obviously felt Robbins had valuable advice for Brown.
Brady was reportedly unhappy with the Patriots for releasing Brown last year, even though the All-Pro receiver was facing allegations of sexual misconduct from multiple women. Brady has remained supportive of Brown publicly, which is why it is not really a shock that Brown is going to be playing for the Bucs.