Well, seeing as the Buccaneers routed Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs in Super Bowl 55, it’s safe to say Brady and his friends achieved their mission. In a few months, the Buccaneers will run it back with almost every major player from last season’s Super Bowl run.
Brown, who remains a free agent, is an exception — and given his relationship with Brady, that omission could soon create some problems.
The Buccaneers still haven’t re-signed Antonio Brown yet
When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers open training camp this summer, they won’t look much different than the team that held the Lombardi Trophy in February.
Tom Brady is back for his age-44 season, and he’ll retain most of his offensive weapons. Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski remained with the Buccaneers in free agency, and perennial Pro Bowl threat Mike Evans is also still around.
The receivers room might be lacking Antonio Brown, however. As of publication, Brown — who hauled in 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games last year — hadn’t yet re-signed with the Buccaneers.
NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo reported on April 1 that the Buccaneers want to re-sign Brown for roughly how much he earned last year, which was $2 million. Brown, though, wants closer to market value, which could pay him anywhere from $4 million to $8 million on a one-year deal.
Brady and Brown have a very close relationship
If not for Tom Brady, Antonio Brown may never have made it back to the NFL.
Brown still has several pending legal issues, including a civil lawsuit in Florida regarding allegations of sexual assault. As a free agent, Brown served an eight-game suspension last year because of off-field conduct.
Brady nonetheless continued fighting for Tampa to sign Brown. The Buccaneers caved, and Brown ended the season with a touchdown in the Super Bowl and the Lombardi Trophy in his hands.
Brady and Brown also briefly played together in New England during the 2019 season.
The Bucs would be wise to appease Brady and sign Brown
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have subscribed to the philosophy of Tom Brady gets what Tom Brady wants.
Brady wanted Rob Gronkowski, and the Buccaneers traded to bring the legendary tight end out of retirement. When Brady kept pushing for Antonio Brown last year, the Buccaneers eventually brought him in.
At this point, what do the Buccaneers have to lose by giving in again and signing Brown to another one-year contract? If Brown’s legal issues take a path that requires the team to part ways with him, they can cut Brown and accept that things didn’t work out.
Tampa Bay already sold its soul to the proverbial devil when they signed Brown amid his legal issues. Brady likes Brown, and the veteran wideout showed enough last year on his play alone to earn a new contract.
If Brady is truly running the show in Tampa, then Brown will be lining up to run a route in a Buccaneers uniform this fall. The Buccaneers aren’t really going to risk offending Brady over $2 million, are they?