Former All-Pro Wide Receiver Antonio Brown signed a one-year deal with the Bucs Friday, first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Brown, a multiple time-Pro Bowler, has only played one game since 2018 due to personal issues. Tampa Bay beat out Seattle, who was the front-runner to sign Brown. The question is whether he will create good chemistry with his teammates under Bruce Arians.
Brown has been dealing with issues in the locker room and his own life for a very long time. After he ended the 2018 season with the Steelers, he voiced his concerns on quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in an interview with 93.7 The Fan:
“I think, man, over time, a lot of stuff had just built up. So, our last meeting was the last day from the last week I had in 2018, and I met with him, and he was trying to explain to me, like, A.B., everyone doesn’t hate me. I think Ben is really nonchalant. So, what people think about him, people are really talking to him behind the back. They won’t really share with him in his face. So, many people who deal with Ben are not dealing with him out of the reality of what it is. Many people are really nervous to tell him what it really is because, based on the position he’s in.”
Brown also said, “But when a guy’s ego and emotions get involved, a lot of stuff goes different ways. Plus, he [Roethlesberger] had JuJu Smith-Schuster. I guess you know that works better for him.”
Brown first signed with the Raiders in 2019 but got caught before playing a game due to helmet technology problems. He then signed with the Patriots to play for Coach Bill Bellichick. He played only one game, where he had 56 receiving yards and a touchdown (Pro-Football-Reference). After this game, reports came out about Brown’s alleged sexual assault on a Steelers organization trainer, so New England cut him.
Brown could definitely add fire to the Bucs, playing alongside wide receivers Chris Godwin, Mike Evans, and Scotty Miller. With Evans playing on an injured ankle, Brown could end up being WR1 or WR2. As long as Brown stays within team guidelines and focuses on football, the Bucs could see a bright future ahead.