Receiver Antonio Brown makes his debut tonight with his fourth NFL team. And the Buccaneers see the potential for high reward, and little risk. Or as the case may be no risk.
“It’s an opportunity that we’re giving him, another opportunity, but it’s a one-year deal and if it doesn’t work, there’s no risk,” G.M. Jason Licht told Ian Rapoport of NFL Media. “No risk.”
Brown has gotten the message that he’s on a one-strike arrangement.
“[Brown and coach Bruce Arians] had a very candid conversation and I don’t want to paraphrase,” Licht said. “But Bruce said to me, ‘He’ll be good.'”
On the field, the Buccaneers think he’ll possibly be great.
“He’s just so explosive and sudden and so much stronger than he looks,” Licht said. “If you saw him in a grocery store, you wouldn’t think he’s a seven-time Pro Bowler. But man, he’s very strong, great hands, super explosive.”
Look for plenty of Brown on Sunday night.
“I expect him to be out there and he’s picked things up very quickly,” Licht said.
Brown likely has picked things up quickly because he’s been working and living with quarterback Tom Brady. The Bucs have tried to dance around the extent to which Brown’s signing had been planned in advance, but it’s possible if not likely that everyone involved knew this was coming for months and that Brady and Brown had been working together for months.
Although Brady has characterized his decision to invite Brown into the home Brady has rented from Derek Jeter as an act of goodwill, charity, and altruism, the inescapable truth is this: Brown helps Brady get to where Brady wants to go. If Brown didn’t or couldn’t assist Brady’s broader quest, Brown wouldn’t be living with Brady, Brown wouldn’t be on Brady’s team, and Brown wouldn’t have been working out with Brady for weeks if not months before officially becoming a teammate.
Put simply, Brown helps Brady get a seventh Super Bowl ring, one that Brady can then show to Bill Belichick.
Right after Brady slides it over his middle finger.