TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Suspended receiver Antonio Brown has agreed to return to the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year deal, according to a person with knowledge of the move.
The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Saturday because the contract had not been completed.
The addition of the volatile seven-time Pro Bowl selection bolsters an already formidable arsenal of playmakers for Tom Brady.
Brown, who’s nearing the end of an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct penalty, is eligible to return in Week 9, when the first-place Bucs (4-2) host the NFC South rival New Orleans Saints.
Brown is the latest high-profile addition around Brady, who signed with Tampa Bay in free agency this year after a historic 20-season run in New England that included nine Super Bowl appearances and six titles.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski and running backs Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy have also joined Brady in Tampa Bay, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2007.
Brown is reuniting with the 43-year-old quarterback after playing one with game with Brady during a brief stint with the Patriots in September 2019.
The impending signing comes more than six months after coach Bruce Arians declared adding Brown to a group of talented young receivers, including Pro Bowl selections Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, was “not gonna happen.”
But with injuries to Evans (ankle), Godwin (hamstring) and Scotty Miller (hamstring/groin) limiting the amount of time Brady has had to work with his top receivers in practice and games, adding Brown provides Brady with another proven playmaker.
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.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 23, 2020
Arians was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator when the Steelers drafted Brown in the sixth round in 2010. The receiver played nine seasons in Pittsburgh before requesting a trade and being dealt to the Raiders in March 2019.
Brown signed with New England after a tumultuous short stay with the Raiders ended with the receiver demanding and being granted his release during training camp.
He had four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown in his only game with the Patriots, who split with Brown because of off-the-field matters that are still under investigation by the NFL.
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