In the world of NFL players, it’s hard to think of two men further apart than Tom Brady and Antonio Brown. The former is arguably the greatest quarterback in league history; when he hits free agency, teams will be lining up for a chance to sign him. Brown, on the other hand, has fallen so far from grace that he may never play in the NFL again.
Brady and Brown, however, hit it off on the field, and the quarterback is reportedly interested in a reunion. Could the pair really team up for the 2020 NFL season?
Antonio Brown and Tom Brady’s brief time together
Antonio Brown began the 2019 NFL season with the Oakland Raiders. After a bizarre offseason, which included everything from helmet grievances and frostbite to verbal altercations, the receiver was cut without playing a single competitive game.
Brown then landed with the New England Patriots, where he linked up with Tom Brady. The receiver caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in his debut, but wouldn’t last long in Foxboro. While Tom Brady was impressed by his new teammate, Brown was promptly accused of sexual assault; unsurprisingly, the Patriots cut bait.
After that, Brady and Brown went their separate ways. The quarterback struggled through a challenging season; at times, he was visibly frustrated by a lack of support on offense. Off the field, the receiver’s downward spiral continued.
Could a reunion really be in the works?
While Tom Brady and Antonio Brown only spent 10 days together, the pair apparently forged quite a bond. They’re reportedly looking to reunite during the 2020 NFL season.
According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler, the two men have kept in “consistent contact;” the sources even said that Brady told Brown he wants to play together in the coming year, wherever that may be.
Brown, for his part, seemed to suggest a similar plan could be in the works. “You gotta have a relationship with a quarterback. Quarterback is everything. … I just think Tom is a special quarterback,” the receiver said during an interview on Power 105.1 FM. “His leadership, him affecting the guys around him, putting guys at peace and encouraging them to work as hard as he work.”
When asked if he and Brady had talked about playing together again, Brown simply responded, “We would like to make it happen.”
Don’t expect to see Tom Brady and Antonio Brown back together, though
Even if you accept that Tom Brady and Antonio Brown want to reunite—and that could be a big if, since most of the sources seem to be in the wide receiver’s camp—accomplishing that goal would be easier said than done. Logistical issues would probably prevent the two from playing together anytime soon.
Even if Brady joins a team that’s willing to accept Brown, the league could still have the final say. While the NFL never officially offered any findings, they did investigate the wide receiver; as soon as he signed a contract, he’d probably find himself on the commissioner’s exempt list.
NFL teams are usually willing to overlook a great deal of baggage in order to win a few more games. Signing Antonio Brown, however, could be a bridge too far, even if he’s a package deal with Tom Brady.