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Leonard Fournette is the most recent member of a long list of star players that have re-signed with the Bucs this offseason as they go for back-t0-back Super Bowls. The last Buc remaining among the highly publicized figures that won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay last season is WR Antonio Brown, who Fournette developed a good relationship with during the season.

Fournette is hoping that Brown will return to the Bucs again next season because the Brown that he knows is a different person than who many on the outside believe him to be.

“I hope he comes back,”  Fournette said. “Guys like that you need around. I think guys like that are just misunderstood a lot. I didn’t know too much about AB before we played with each other, but he’s a great guy to be around and I hope he comes back.”

When thinking of Fournette’s first season with the Bucs, many will remember his impeccable playoff run where he scored a touchdown in each game, rushing for 300 yards and 148 receiving yards. There was also a stretch during the regular season, though, where he dealt with an ankle injury, was benched in favor of Ronald Jones II and was even made inactive out of the team’s bye in Week 13.

It wasn’t always easy for Fournette, who said that the combination of getting cut by the Jaguars and having a less prominent role with the Bucs messed with his psyche, but it was Brown that helped prop his confidence back up.

“I think my biggest help on this team was probably AB,” Fournette said. “Because he went through what he went through, And I was going through it. Us motivating each other, there was pep talks we had each and every day, just trusting the process and things like that. He played a big part, too.”

Brown has had a myriad of off-the-field issues, including rape and sexual assault accusations, that saw him get released from two separate teams and suspended by the NFL in 2019, before signing with the Bucs on October 27 of last season. The move brought created plenty of controversy in the media, given how Brown was a locker room cancer and poor representation of three other NFL organizations the year prior.

To his credit, there were no known issues in Tampa Bay’s locker room this past season, and Brown was a big part of the Bucs’ offensive success down the stretch in the regular season and for moments in the playoffs. Brown currently remains a free agent, although Bruce Arians said yesterday that “offers are out there”, when asked about the possibility of Brown re-joining the team this offseason.

While they came to Tampa in different situations, Fournette and Brown shared a common ground of playing in what could be their final shot in the league. It even started a comparison between them that their scenario is playing out like its’ own episode of a hit show on Netflix.

“I’d tell him this s**t feels like “Last Chance U,” Fournette said. “We can’t mess up. We’re on our second go-around and things like that. And he would be like ‘You know what, you got to look at it like that. God doesn’t give too many chances, we got to take the best chance out of this.'”

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About the Author: Matt Matera

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5 months ago

Good insight and I hope Brown is signed.

Keith Henderson
5 months ago

Seems like AB and Fournette are good for each other.

5 months ago

In all honesty, AB needs the Bucs more than the Bucs need him. Still, I hope they get a Buc favorable deal done with AB. He still has value and with his experience he can exploit man to man coverage.

5 months ago

Antonio was a big part of this team and made it very hard for opposing teams to take away Mike & Chris and Gronk. Please resign AB guys.

5 months ago

Well….who would have thunk it. Instead of being a locker room cancer, AB ends up being an inspiration to Fournette and the two of them together ended up playing a large role in our playoff run. Maybe a couple of our PR writers should dial back the lack of support for two guys that had a serious impact on this teams success last year.

5 months ago

AB has been a number one WR before, therefore he is invaluable if Godwin or Mike goes down for a game or two. I say the Brady effect is real and Brady will convince him to come back for one more year with the Bucs. It’s really an ideal situation for him as Brady seems to have established a working friendship with AB.

5 months ago

While Bucs don’t need AB he could be valuable depth again as Evans and Godwin both were banged up lot last year. He didn’t have any issues last season (other than allegedly throwing a bike at a security guard) but I’m still Leary of him. Price and deal needs to be right and gives Bucs easy and inexpensive out if they have to cut him. Yes he did fine last year. History has shown though this guy is a serious asshole or he’s had mental problems.

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