Just when it started to look like the Antonio Brown saga might be reaching an endpoint as far as the NFL is concerned, the former All-Pro wide receiver is back in the league.
The 32-year-old Brown signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, an official announcement came Friday night.
The #Bucs and FA WR Antonio Brown have finalized and agreed to their 1-year deal for him to join Tampa Bay, source says.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 24, 2020
Brown appeared in one game in 2019, that came with the New England Patriots. But the troubled receiver was released and later suspended eight games by the NFL for a series of events that involved bizarre behavior under the league’s personal conduct policy.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, Brown must be given a clean bill of health. That process is a little more complicated these days, so it’s likely Brown’s debut with the Bucs will be during the team’s Week 9 contest versus the New Orleans Saints.
Problematic behavior started when Brown essentially forced his way out of Pittsburgh, where he spent the first nine years of his pro career.
The Steelers traded Brown to the then-Oakland Raiders, where he spent training camp but was cut before the regular season. That’s when the Pats picked him up for what amounted to a single game.
It’s not a surprise Brown would end up in Tampa, it was widely reported that he and Tom Brady grew close during their short time together in New England. It’s also been reported Brady has been trying to persuade the Bucs since the summer – shortly after he signed there – to sign the receiver.
After he was cut by the Raiders in Pats within a few weeks, Browns behavior went from primarily worrisome on the field (or at least as it relates to his dealings with the team he was on) to off the field, where a lawsuit claiming sexual assault against him was filed and he was the source of much criticism for actions as well as several controversial social media posts.
For his career, Brown has 841 receptions for 11,269 yards and 75 touchdowns. He’s also chipped in four punt returns for scores as well as a kick return taken to the house.