What Does The Antonio Brown Signing Mean For The NFL?

In+his+one+game+with+the+Patriots+Brown+recorded+4+receptions+for+56+yards+and+a+touchdown

In his one game with the Patriots Brown recorded 4 receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown

Davis Cuffe, Sports Editor

¨Update: Antonio Brown and the Buccaneers have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per sources. Language still has to be finalized, COVID protocols passed, but Brown is likely to make his Bucs’ debut in Week 9 against the Saints¨. A Tweet by lead NFL insider Adam Schefter that sent ripples of panic from NFL fans and teams alike. But what’s the real impact of the Antonio Brown signing?
As a seven-time Pro-Bowler and four-time All-Pro wide receiver, Antonio Brown found himself a free agent and recipient of an eight-game suspension in 2020. After being traded from the Steelers, a team Brown had spent his career at racking up 837 receptions, 74 touchdowns, and over 11,000 receiving yards. Brown was by all means a superstar, and found himself in the NFL MVP conversation more than one time. After being traded from the Steelers in 2019 Antonio Brown seemed to fall apart. As a member of the Raiders Brown signed a 3 year 30 million dollar contract before the season began. During what was to be his first training camp as a Raider Brown watched his new teammates from the sidelines due to injury. This injury was the cause of Brown entering a cryogenic therapy chamber where temperatures reach below negative 200 degrees Fahrenheit without proper footwear. Something that was routine for most left Brown with badly blistered feet due to a mental error on Brown’s part.
While Brown battled a foot injury from the sideline he also battled the NFL over wanting to wear his decade-old Schutt AiR Advantage helmet that had been banned by the NFL. Before losing this battle to the NFL and finding a new helmet to play in Brown threatened to retire for the first time in his career. It wouldn’t be his last.
After Brown recovered from his foot injury he still didn’t come to team practices and was fined because of it. As a result of the $54,000 in fines, Brown chose to post a picture of the fines online and captioned the picture “When your own team want to hate but there’s no stopping me now devil is a lie.” It’s then later reported that when Brown does report to the team he gets in an altercation with the Raiders general manager, Mike Mayock. In this altercation, it’s reported that Brown threatened to punch Mayock and called him a racial slur. After later reports emerged that the Raiders had discussions revolving around releasing Antonio Brown, Brown takes to social media yet again and requests a release. The Raiders oblige and Brown loses all 30 million dollars of the contract he signed earlier in the offseason.
Much like 2020, Brown found himself as a free agent in 2019. It only took a few hours for Brown to sign with the 2019 Super Bowl Champions, the New England Patriots. Only days later Brown found himself amid more controversy. On September 10th, 2019 Brown was accused of sexually assaulting and raping his trainer in 2017. Brown denies the accusations but the league announces they will investigate the matter. Brown plays through the controversy in his first game as a Patriot where he records four catches for fifty-six yards and a touchdown. A day later Brown was accused of sexual misconduct. In the next few days, even more reports came out about Brown’s off-field issues, and on September 19th, 2019 Antonio Brown was released by the New England Patriots.
In the period between his Patriots release and his Buccaneers signing Antonio Brown: retired three times, was served an eight-game suspension by the NFL, was charged with burglary with assault or battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief, and was involved in an assortment of other drama.
Now in 2020 over a year after his Patriots release Brown finds himself a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and reunited with his former Patriots teammate, Tom Brady. Assuming Brown can stay out of trouble, its arrows up for his career, as a former All-Pro receiver he´ll be sure to produce on the field. But how does he fit in with this Tampa Bay team? In terms of as a personality, Bucs head coach Bruce Arians has already made his role to Brown very clear in stating: “Be a team player, or be gone.” As an on-field asset Brown helps an already loaded Bucs offense with WRs, Chris Godwin, and Mike Evans who were both Pro-Bowlers last year. While Arians has referred to Antonio Brown as an ¨insurance plan¨ with both Godwin and Evans dealing with injuries that ¨insurance plan¨ is sure to come into use. The Buccaneers were already loaded on both sides of the ball and adding Antonio Brown into the equation makes them a Super-Bowl contender for many, including myself.
Assuming Brown, can keep the off-field issues to a minimum, it looks like arrows up for Brown’s career and this loaded Bucs team. Be sure to watch his Bucs debut when the Bucs take on the Saints, November 8th on Sunday night.