Sources: AB, Buccaneers reach deal on contract

NFL

Antonio Brown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached agreement on a one-year deal, sources tell ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

While contract language still has to be finalized and Brown has to pass COVID-19 protocols before he can join the team, Brown is likely to make his Bucs’ debut in Week 9 against the Saints.

Both sides wanted to complete a deal that reunites Brown with quarterback Tom Brady. The Seattle Seahawks were also in the mix before Brown and the Buccaneers reached an agreement.

The Bucs have been banged up at the wide receiver position. Mike Evans has been playing on an injured ankle since Week 4 and hasn’t been able to practice consistently, while Chris Godwin just returned from a hamstring injury, and deep threat Scotty Miller has been limited by a groin/hip injury.

Brady has been pushing for the Bucs to sign Brown since the summer. Brady took Brown under his wing during Brown’s brief tenure in New England — on and off the field.

The two had immediate on-field chemistry — Brown had 4 catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins — in their first game together. As it turned out, it was their only game together, as Brown was released later in the week.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians worked with Brown while he was the offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh and previously had been critical of Brown. Arians told Schefter on his podcast in 2019 that Brown was “too much of a diva,” and said as recently as March that Brown wasn’t a fit on the Bucs.

In July, the NFL announced it had suspended Brown for eight games without pay because of multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. Brown will be eligible to come off the suspension after Week 8.

Brown, 32, had been the subject of an NFL investigation following an accusation of sexual misconduct at his home by an artist who was working there in 2017. He also pleaded no contest in June to a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges related to a January incident with a moving truck company outside his home in Hollywood, Florida.

The NFL said in July that Brown was directed to continue counseling and treatment. The league also said that any further violations would likely result in harsher discipline.

Information from ESPN’s Jenna Laine and Mike Reiss was used in this report.

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