While the Bucs have already succeeded in bringing back almost all of the impact players from their Super Bowl-winning team in 2020, Antonio Brown remains the next target for Tampa Bay’s front office. And according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo, the two sides are in discussion but “are not close right now” to an agreement.

“[Brown] and the Buccaneers, I’m told, had discussions this week on a possible return. They talked money this week. . .” Garafolo said Thursday on Good Morning Football. “The fans want him back and they want to bring him back, the Buccaneers do, just at a different number than what he has in mind right now.”

Brown joined the Bucs on a one-year, $2 million contract for half of the 2020 season, re-taking the field against the Saints in Week 9 after serving an eight-game suspension. In that second half of the year, Brown totaled 483 yards and four touchdowns on 45 catches, with all four of his scores coming over Tampa Bay’s final three games of the regular season.

In the playoffs Brown added another 81 yards and two touchdowns. Brown had a touchdown against Washington in the Bucs’ Wild Card round victory, and despite being forced to miss Tampa Bay’s NFC Championship Game against the Packers with a knee injury, the veteran receiver returned to haul in a touchdown just before halftime against the Chiefs in Super Bowl LV.

Now at age 32, showing in 2020 that he can still be a dangerous pass-catcher from any alignment, Brown may be looking at what other veterans have been getting on the free agent market. Receivers Sammy Watkins, Keelan Cole, Emmanuel Sanders and T.Y. Hilton all signed one-year deals this offseason that landed between $5 and $8 million for next season. That may be the price range that Brown is looking at heading into negotiations, but with Tampa Bay’s shrinking salary cap space and legal issues still hanging over the former All-Pro’s head, that price tag may need to come down if Brown is destined to re-join the Bucs for the 2021 season.

Should Brown return, it would once again solidify one of the most dangerous receiving groups in the NFL. With Mike Evans, Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson all remaining under contract, tight end O.J. Howard due to return from injury and the Bucs’ ensuring that Chris Godwin and Rob Gronkowski will return for at least one more season with the team, Brown would provide Tampa Bay a wealth of riches on the offensive side of the ball.

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NaplesFan2.0
2 months ago

To be clear, I want AB back, but if he thinks he’s getting any more than the Bucs are offering, with still pending legal issues, he is out of his mind. At the resolution of that case, the NFL will probably suspend him again. Incentive laden contract is the only way to go.

Naplesfan
Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
2 months ago

No, he is NOT out of his mind. Every player wants to get paid what is fair, relative to what his peers are getting. Just like you wouldn’t like it at your place of employment if your bosses offered you 20% less than anybody else doing and contributing what you do and contribute. Money is a form of affirmation, a measure of success, and a measure of respect. Not that money supersedes every other consideration, but it is clearly a major consideration for anybody who isn’t an idiot. If some other team is offering Antonio Bryant a lot more than… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by Naplesfan
drdneast
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Well said, especially considering the fact if you are AB you don’t have to many big pay days left. I like what AB has in his skill set but not $5 million a year worth of like. Some teams are in more of need of veteran WR’s and will offer more money for a player than they are worth. If the Bucs to swallow $5 million a year so be it. It’s not my money.

mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

He has a right to hope for whatever compensation he wants. And the Bucs to place a value on his play and decide what his contribution is worth to them. And we won’t negotiate against ourselves. And if they don’t intersect, so be it, I would say that every day closer to the draft, the less his leverage becomes, as there are many talented young receivers in the draft, that would be paid much less with less legal issues surrounding their near future. And they aren’t over 30. I hope he doesn’t price himself out of a job, as he… Read more »

Last edited 2 months ago by mark2001
NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

I absolutely understand it from his perspective. He’s an idiot if he thinks 8 games changed a prior 2 years of team destroying behavior. A 2 years he will still pay for in the future, with possible suspensions forthcoming. From the Bucs perspective, and other teams for that matter, they’re only paying for half a season until he gets suspended again, with the possibility he implodes and destroys team chemistry. What a position of strength Brown has in that negotiation! Lol

Spitfire
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Yeah if some other team is offering then let him take it. Someone can have an opinion that with his legal troubles still dangling out there and possible jail time or further suspension, he isn’t worth more than a low end incentive laden contract. He is out of his mind if he thinks he’s worth it and no one is offering it. If someone else offers it then they are the ones that are out of their mind. We all know that football is a business and 95% of the players, coaches and front office are greedy greedy greedy people,… Read more »

WeAretheChamps2002+2021
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Who’s Antonio Bryant?

scubog
Reply to  WeAretheChamps2002+2021
2 months ago

He was a receiver who played for the Bucs a few years ago and had some success. Wanted a big pay day, didn’t get it and was never the same. Perhaps Naples was using his possible resurrection as leverage in negotiations with Antonio Brown.

In fairness to Naples, I have also made the same mistake with names. I blame it on age.

Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

Yup – we call it a “senior moment”.

bucballer
2 months ago

It is was it is. It would be a shame, for both, if the money issue could not be worked out. The Bucs gave AB a job last year when nobody else would. It would be a terrible move on ABs part if he doesn’t sign another one year deal given the team that we have and the fact that we r primed to make another run at a SuperBowl this year again. He needs to show continuity and a sense of having gained control of his life and actions again giving his pending legal actions coming before a judge… Read more »

jongruden
2 months ago

I don’t care if he comes back or not, Scotty Miller was our leading wr when we signed Brown last yr, let him walk its MIller time and Tyler Johnson time, Peace out AB

Naplesfan
Reply to  jongruden
2 months ago

Tom Brady cares … and I value Tom Brady’s opinions in football matters a helluva lot more than I value yours, to be blunt.

mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

I’m sure Tom Brady cares. Most of us care. But he will work with the tools he has. And likely be very successful….to be blunt…with or without AB.

aredsoxfan1
Reply to  mark2001
2 months ago

That’s fine and all but Scotty Miller can’t do half of what AB can do.

Dman
Reply to  jongruden
2 months ago

Yup….

ScottC543
2 months ago

Hey, it’s his call. He can either take what we’re offering or he can go play elsewhere. We have an extremely marketable situation, and we’re also bargaining from a position of strength. There will be a bunch of very good receivers lining up to take his place.
Stay here for the glory. Go elsewhere for more money and the lumps that come with.

calibucsfan16
2 months ago

I don’t want him back. He has too much baggage and his off the field issues are a concern for me. I know he helped us win a Super Bowl, but I never liked the signing or having him on the team.

Naplesfan
Reply to  calibucsfan16
2 months ago

So in other words, you don’t trust the GOAT’s judgment?

LIBucsFan93
2 months ago

No biggie. Just Sign Larry Fitzgerald. Insert Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson into AB role and call it a day.

gcolerick
Reply to  LIBucsFan93
2 months ago

That’s a joke….Fitzgerald’s time has come and gone. We already have a guy that plays slot receiver. His name is Godwin and he does it a hell of a lot better than Fitzgerald at this point in his career.

Naplesfan
2 months ago

Obviously most of the commenters here don’t know their asses from a hole in the ground about contract negotiations .. and don’t care either, though they’re perfectly willing to take sides.
It’s best to shut your traps until a deal is either done, or AB goes somewhere else.
Every player in every pro sport gets to negotiate their contracts, at least once their rookie deals expire. It’s like most everything else in life … and most people are lousy negotiators, and simply don’t get it.

mark2001
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Most of us have negotiated contracts…for houses and cars. Some even personal service contracts. But that doesn’t make us experts. And why should we believe you are one? Everyone can say what they think, based upon their perspectives and experience. And though we aren’t all experts, or player attorneys, that doesn’t mean we don’t know our asses from a hole in the ground.

Naplesfan
Reply to  mark2001
2 months ago

I don’t claim to be an expert, but actually I do negotiate contracts for a living. Again, the point is not about me or you or any other commenter here .. it’s all about whatever the two parties agree or disagree on. Commentary in advance of a resolution is just uninformed, ignorant speculation.

NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Apparently you don’t understand the “negotiation” process going on right now. A contract is on the table for AB. It is a take it or leave it kind of deal based on his history and legal troubles. Licht has talked about being savvy or smart all offseason with BA saying we’ll see what happens. They’re not overpaying for anyone if you haven’t noticed, and committing anything close to market value for half a season seems STUPID. Also, I thought we were all Bucs fans here? Not idiot players who can’t keep their shit straight.

Last edited 2 months ago by NaplesFan2.0
aredsoxfan1
Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
2 months ago

I would disagree about overpaying. I think they overpaid a bit on David, Suh and maybe even Gronk and Brate is clearly overpaid unless they still plan on him taking a haircut. I’m not complaining, happy to see all the boys back. That’s just how I view their contracts. Personally, if I had to chose between the two, I would cut Brate and pay AB his $6.5mil. I feel AB would have much bigger impact on the offense.

NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  aredsoxfan1
2 months ago

David no, and Gronk at 8 million is a bargain imo. You may be right on Suh, but Brate has been signed for years. Its not as if they just gave him a raise this offseason. AB on talent alone, might be the 2nd or 3rd highest paid player on offense, but to me, paying him 5 million and up is too much of a risk. All we need is for him to pull an Oakland, and call Jason Licht a “Stupid Ass Cracker” in front of the entire team. Hard no on his asking price.

Naplesfan
Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
2 months ago

Now tell us, how many NFL teams have you successfully performed as a General Manager for?
Other than zero?

Naplesfan
Reply to  NaplesFan2.0
2 months ago

Again, you don’t know your ass from a hole in the ground on negotiations in general and this negotiation in particular … that is, unless you claim to be in the room with AB’s agent and Jason Licht .. unless that is reality, then you need to shut up about it. There is zero indication from anybody that there is any “take it or leave it” bullshit as you stupidly claim, or any kind of impasse at all. This is a negotiation still underway and conducted in private without asshole ignorant commenters in the middle like you claiming to know… Read more »

WeAretheChamps2002+2021
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Care to expand on your wealth of experience as a sports agent negotiator? I take it you weren’t that good if you’re commenting on here instead of working.

Naplesfan
Reply to  WeAretheChamps2002+2021
2 months ago

I claim nothing. Nobody commenting here has the least fucking idea what is going on in the negotiation, so stop pretending to be know it alls when none of you know a goddammned thing at all.

NaplesFan2.0
Reply to  Naplesfan
2 months ago

Did someone piss in your cereal guy? Change your name. Angry guys with keyboards should not be allowed to have that moniker.

Hockey Duckie
2 months ago

The Bucs have leverage here as they had 2020 fifth round WR Tyler Johnson show flashes of brilliance in the playoffs. It would be nice to have AB back on a good deal for the Bucs, but if not, then the Bucs already has AB’s replacement in mind.
I would make Johnson talk with Brady often as well as watch AB films so Johnson can be on the same page with Brady. Johnson already proved he’s got hands for catching Brady.

Horse
2 months ago

A fair price is a one-year contract for 4 million with up to 2 million worth of incentives.

gcolerick
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

You’re spot on horse!

mark2001
Reply to  Horse
2 months ago

Yes..or maybe a 3 and 3, based upon your conversations with experts on how his civil case might playout with league sanctions..

BucWonder
2 months ago

I have not heard of any other team being interested. Has anyone else? There is no reason for AB to rush things. He can wait to see if something better comes along or the Bucs increase their offer. I see nothing happening either way until after the draft. Lots of good WRs in the draft.

scubog
Reply to  BucWonder
2 months ago

You’re exactly right Wonder. Like any one of us seeking a career move, there’s a strategy one needs to employ to better one’s chances of ending up in the best situation possible. Needless to say, like us, most players and their agents, have a slightly inflated opinion of themselves. Like Naples said, all players, like those of us in the real world, expect to be paid commensurate with their peers. AB and his advisors need to decide if it’s more beneficial to go for the “bird in the hand” now or go for the uncertainty of “two in the bush”… Read more »

Naplesfan
Reply to  scubog
2 months ago

We can only speculate, but it seems logical that if AB has had zero inquiries on signing from another team, he likely would have taken the Bucs offer already. But of course we know nothing. The likelihood that another team watched what he did for the Bucs in the last half of the season and the Super Bowl run in the playoffs and saw potential value in him for their team seems quite high. The fact that the GOAT placed personal faith in AB, and got a clear payoff from that investment in his own personal credibility, would seem to… Read more »

Spitfire
2 months ago

Absolutely not. I liked what AB. Thought to the field and I think he would be even better this season, but he is a luxury/extra man that they absolutely better not pay anywhere close to $8mil or even $5mil. Everyone made a big deal about the new guys scoring in the Super Bowl but if Brady wasn’t intentionally making the Honey Badger look silly, Godwin would have could Browns TD. If he wants to come back for the same price as last season and prove he can put in a good solid full year then go for it, but he… Read more »

Dave
2 months ago

If he resigns for a good price, awesome. If not, it is what it is. Is he right by thinking his talent deserves 5-8…..definitely. But when you add in all his legal troubles, it changes everything. It’s a lot of risk for 5-8 MIL. If he didn’t have any off the field concerns, 5-8 would be a steal. If he decides to chase one more big payday, we still have Miller(who I thought showed the most chemistry with Brady in the first month of the season), Johnson, and a very deep class of WR’s. Guys like Bateman and Moore are… Read more »

Saints Fan
2 months ago

No question AB deserves to make as much or maybe a little less than Nelson Agholor. Pay the man!

Alldaway 2.0
2 months ago

I want AB back. This is an unstoppable offense with AB.

obuc
2 months ago

Remember, no team might have him after november. Thats 12 weeks. And 6 weeks before the end of the regular season he may be gone.

Naplesfan
Reply to  obuc
2 months ago

It is not clear at all that there will be any action by either the league or his team as a result of a civil jury trial that may or may not ever actually happen. 98% of all civil suits are settled before a trial and verdict are rendered, and virtually all of those settlements include gag orders. I was a witness in a decade long civil suit that actually finally went to trial, the entire trial was conducted and the judge sent it to jury deliberations, and the parties settled within an hour of it going to the jury.… Read more »

Dman
2 months ago

Let him make his money elsewhere. Heard Seattle is interested. Perfect spot for him.

plopes808
2 months ago

When he wasn’t signed yet, I figured the issue was money. Well, in his situation he will most likely not have a whole lot of interest from teams with QBs not named Brady. If he feels he can get an offer around the same level as those other WRs who don’t have pending legal issues, we can’t be mad at him for trying, but I feel if there was a team out there willing to offer that much, they would’ve already done so. AB is easily a WR2 or even WR1 on another team and would be worthy of the… Read more »

fredster
2 months ago

Bucs should Let AB walk if he wants more than what they are offering.
WR is not a big need.
He is a big risk.
Pending legal stuff still….

If he comes as cheap insurance like last year fine. If he wants more and someone else wants to roll the dice let them. Last year was odd year with Godwin and Evans both hurt and doubt that happens again.

Go Bucs!