Bucs' Bruce Arians on Antonio Brown Contract Talks: 'There's Offers out There'

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 30, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Tyler Johnson, left, celebrates after wide receiver Antonio Brown, right, scored a touchdown against the Kansas City Chiefs during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 55 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will bring back all 22 of their starters from last year's Super Bowl team, but Antonio Brown's free agency appears to be a slower process.

"We’re just gonna take our time. There's offers out there. We’ll see how it goes," Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians told reporters Tuesday.

Brown recorded 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns in 2020 after serving an eight-game suspension for violations of the NFL's personal conduct policy. While those numbers pale in comparison to Brown's previous All-Pro heights in Pittsburgh, he was a reliable favorite of Tom Brady on underneath passes and still flashed elite talent.

The Bucs became the first Super Bowl winner to retain all of its starters during the salary-cap era after agreeing to a one-year, $4 million contract with Leonard Fournette last week. Brown recently said on Instagram he expects to "work this out" with the Bucs.

However, Brown does seemingly have other suitors who could offer him a bigger role. Longtime NFL reporter John Clayton reported Russell Wilson has been lobbying the Seahawks to sign Brown, and the Ravens have been linked several times given Brown's cousin, Marquise Brown, is currently on the roster.

Arians was not overly keen on signing Brown before bringing him in last season at the behest of Tom Brady, so his tepid public response to re-signing the seven-time Pro Bowler is of no surprise. While Arians warmed up to Brown as the 2020 season progressed, it's clear Brady's influence played a large factor in him being on the roster—and likely will be the biggest influence on him re-signing if that ultimately happens.

The Bucs are currently $4.2 million over the salary cap, so they're going to need to move some money around before inking any free agents or draft picks.