Antonio Brown and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have reached an agreement on a one-year contract, sources Adam Schefter of ESPN said on Friday.
While the contract language has yet to be determined and Brown must pass COVID-19 protocols before joining the team, Brown is expected to make his Bucs debut against the New Orleans Saints on November 8th in Week 9.
Both sides wanted to strike a deal that would reunite Brown with quarterback Tom Brady. The Seattle Seahawks were also in the mix before Brown and the Buccaneers reached an agreement.
The Bucs were beaten up at the wide receiver position. Mike Evans has been playing on an injured ankle since week 4 and has not been able to train consistently. Chris Godwin has just returned from a hamstring injury and Scotty Miller has been seriously threatened with a groin / hip injury.
Brady had been pushing for the Bucs to sign Brown since the summer. Brady took Brown under his wing during Brown's brief New England tenure last season – on and off the field.
The two had instant chemistry on the field – Brown had four catches for 54 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win over the Miami Dolphins – in their first game together. It turned out to be their only game together as Brown was released later that week.
Buccaneer's trainer Bruce Arians worked with Brown when he was offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh and had previously criticized Brown. Arians told Schefter on his 2019 podcast that Brown was "too much of a diva," and didn't say Brown was a bad match for the Bucs until March.
In July, the NFL announced that it had banned Brown from eight unpaid games for multiple violations of the NFL's personal code of conduct. Brown has the right to end his suspension after week 8.
Brown, 32, had been the subject of an NFL investigation after an artist who worked there in 2017 accused of sexual misconduct at his home. He also did not advocate a battery-charged crime break in June and two minor misdemeanor charges related to a January incident involving a moving company outside his Hollywood, Florida home.
The NFL said in July that Brown had been ordered to continue counseling and treatment. The league also said further violations would likely lead to tougher discipline.
Information from Jenna Laine and Mike Reiss of ESPN was used in this report.