Antonio Brown successfully returned to the NFL last season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brown helped guide the Buccaneers on an impressive run to a Super Bowl win. However, his tenure in Tampa Bay may be cut short due to a concerning contractual issue.
Antonio Brown makes NFL comeback with Buccaneers
After spending nearly a year away from the NFL, Brown received his chance to return with the Buccaneers.
The star wideout served an eight-game suspension before making his official return. In eight regular-season games, he recorded 45 catches for 583 yards and four touchdowns. Brown’s best performance came in the season finale against the Atlanta Falcons when he hauled in 11 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
His production dipped in the playoffs due to a knee injury, but he recorded eight catches for 81 yards and two touchdowns in four games. In Super Bowl 55, he caught five passes for 22 yards and a score.
Despite that, Brown’s tenure in Tampa Bay may be cut short due to a new concerning issue.
Antonio Brown sparks a contractual issue that could end his Buccaneers stint
A few weeks ago, the star wide receiver inked a one-year deal worth up to $6.25 million to return to the Buccaneers.
However, Brown‘s reported new contract isn’t signed yet due to a lingering issue involving knee surgery. Head coach Bruce Arians added another wrinkle to the conversation by stating on The Pewter Report’s podcast that the 32-year-old must first pass his physical to rejoin the team officially.
“He has to pass the physical,” Arians told The Pewter Report. “Hopefully we’ll have a scope on Tuesday. He’s getting his knee cleaned out, and everything will work out fine. It’s just a matter of a physical.”
Arians voiced he’s long wanted Brown to re-sign but underlined the necessity of completing the physical. He also expressed that it marks the first surgery for the seven-time Pro Bowler in his football career.
“We wanted AB back,” Arians said via CBS Sports. “He was a model citizen the whole time he’s been here. We wanted him back, and he’s never had surgery in his life. It’s just a matter of [getting a] physical done. I wanted him back the whole time.”
The star wideout went through the entire playoffs battling a knee injury that forced him to miss the NFC Championship Game. Brown managed to play in Super Bowl 55, during which he recorded a touchdown reception.
The Buccaneers are remaining patient, but the team has options if things don’t go as planned.
Tampa Bay has other options
Remarkably, the Buccaneers kept the band together in free agency after re-signing all their big-name players.
Brown is among that group, but his value isn’t where many expected based on his talent. Tampa Bay possesses a strong group of wide receivers with Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Scotty Miller, Tyler Johnson, and rookie Jaelon Darden.
The Buccaneers recently inked Darden to his rookie deal, which puts him in the fold before Brown. The team moved up into the fourth round to select the North Texas product, which shows that it holds much interest.
Tampa Bay prefers to keep Brown, but the roster holds several prominent passing-game weapons. His absence would leave the team without another playmaker, but it wouldn’t be a backbreaking loss.
In the meantime, the Buccaneers will continue to monitor Brown’s knee situation.