Antonio Brown is confident he will reunite with Tom Brady in Tampa.
On Wednesday, Brown was asked via his Instagram story if he would “sign with Tampa,” to which he replied, “expeditiously.”
The 31-year-old receiver has made it clear he wants to return to football and has spent much of the offseason kissing up to Brady. On Jan. 29, Brown posted a photo to Instagram of Brady and himself during the only game they played together with the Patriots that was captioned, “Want to play more than ever 2020 wherever @tombrady go #BeEncouraged.”
On Wednesday, he congratulated the former New England quarterback on Instagram after his free-agency saga ended and said playing with Brady “would be an extreme honor.”
According to Ian Rapoport, Brady was insistent on “bring[ing] Antonio Brown with him to a new team,” and characterized their relationship as “close.”
But Brown’s purported “timeline” conflicts with a report from NFL Network that the Buccaneers are “not likely to sign” him, likely due to a highly publicized downward spiral and scandal-laden past. After nine seasons with the Steelers, Brown had a brief stint with the Raiders that ended in him demanding a release. His tenure with the Patriots lasted all of 13 days after a civil suit surfaced alleging that he had sexually assaulted his former trainer Britney Taylor and then sent “intimidating text messages” to a another woman who accused him of sexual misconduct.
Since then, the out-of-work wideout has been a seemingly permanent fixture in the news for run-ins with the legal system and Kafakesque-social media posts. Brown was arrested for battery and felony burglary on Jan. 24.
The troubled star has not played in a game since Sept. 15 against the Dolphins when he caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown from Brady. If he were to be reinstated and signed by the Buccaneers, Brown would join a stacked receiving corps of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin and tight end O.J. Howard.
Brown has a lifetime 841 catches for 11,263 yards and 75 touchdowns. He led the NFL in receiving yards in both 2014 and 2017 and led the league in receiving touchdowns in 2018 with a career-high of 15. He has been named to seven Pro Bowl teams and awarded four first team All-Pro honors over ten seasons.