Reports have emerged stating that free agent Antonio Brown has made progress toward a deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Further updates later on Friday evening indicated that a deal had been reached. Brown will once again join forces with his former New England Patriots teammate Tom Brady. Brady likely has a helping hand in assisting the Bucs in their quest to land Brown, seeing as how the two already have a pre-built chemistry with one another.
Brown last made a brief appearance for the Patriots in 2019 before falling into trouble off the field. In his lone game with New England and Tom Brady, the 10-year wideout caught four of his eight targets for 56 yards, resulting in one touchdown. Afterwards, he was released by the Patriots due to a then-ongoing investigation surrounding Brown, who had been accused of rape.
Another aspect that must be considered is the risks that come with obtaining Brown’s services. Though extremely satisfying on the field, his tenure may certainly come into play due to his many antics off the field. Aside from his eight-game suspension, Brown owns a history of misconduct during his time in the league. Tom Brady, though a spearhead in wanting Brown in Tampa, may have not justifiably had enough time to witness how he and Brown can truly mesh.
However, had his immature mishaps not occurred during his time with the Patriots, the amount of success he could’ve achieved in head coach Bill Belichick’s system alongside Brady could’ve been incredible. Instead, Brown was set to serve an eight-game suspension following the sexual misconduct violations. Now that his punishment has been served, Brown obviously wants a chance once again to play with Tom Brady, though this time in a different setting.
If Brown decides to move ahead and finalize a deal with the Bucs, Brady’s path to proving that he can still be a dominating quarterback at the age of 43 just got a lot easier. Tom Brady has been a juggernaut in recent games for the Bucs after getting off to a rather rusty start. His latest win against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers shows that he’s still capable of Hall of Famer-like performances, as he finished the game completing 62.96 percent of his throws for 166 yards and two touchdowns.
The only issue that possibly comes into play is the cohesiveness that could be formed with Tom Brady after he already started to gel so well with current wideouts Mike Evans, Scotty Miller and Chris Goodwin along with tight end Rob Gronkowski. Finding room for Brown may prove to be a task in itself after agreeing to a deal. It’s reported that both sides will apparently meet as early as Saturday in hopes of working towards a deal immediately. After which the question must be asked of which wideout will possibly take a backseat to Brown?
Either of the two in both Miller or Goodwin would likely see less snaps with Brown in the picture, or head coach Bruce Arians may find a successful way to integrate Brown, as he hasn’t played in a game in over a year. Goodwin has completed 80 percent of his passes this season for 191 yards and one touchdown. Miller has completed a slightly lesser margin of his catches at 69.6 percent for 256 yards along with one touchdown as well.
For the greater good, Brown is as good an option as the Bucs can hope for, regardless of the forming chemistry between Tom Brady and his receivers. Adding Brown to the mix only makes the situation far more dangerous for opposing coverages. With Brown in the fold, talks of the Bucs contending for a championship may eventually begin to manifest after a few successful outings.