More than a year after being released by the Raiders and Patriots, and then landing on the commissioner’s exempt list due to sexual assault allegations, wide receiver Antonio Brown appears ready to rejoin the NFL. According to ESPN, Brown is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Buccaneers, where he will play with quarterback Tom Brady.
Brown played just one game with Brady’s Patriots last year before the team released him. Brown was sued by his former personal trainer, Britney Taylor, who accused the receiver of three sexual assaults. Brown has denied all allegations of wrongdoing and countersued Taylor in February 2020, saying the two had a consensual relationship and that she accused him of assault to force a financial settlement.
Brown, 32, was suspended for the first eight games this season. If he signs with Tampa Bay, he would be eligible to play in Week 9 against the Saints.
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said in March he didn’t foresee the team signing Brown.
"It’s not gonna happen," Arians said. "There’s no room, you know? Probably not enough money. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not a fit here. I just know him, and it’s not a fit in our locker room."
Arians was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator when Pittsburgh drafted Brown in 2010. Brown went on to become an All Pro receiver, producing seven 1,000-yard seasons and scoring 74 touchdowns for the Steelers. He forced a trade to the Raiders in 2019, but never played a game after getting into disagreements with coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock.
Brady likely played a major role in recruiting Brown to the Buccaneers. Brady joined Tampa Bay after a 20-year career in New England, and he convinced tight end Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement to play this season.