The Super Bowl champion Buccaneers have been content to use the free-agency period as an opportunity to retain the players that helped them capture the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Before Tampa Bay ends its offseason spending spree, though, Antonio Brown would like the front office to address an important question.
Have you considered re-signing current free agent Antonio Brown?
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Brown, who finished with 45 catches for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight games last season with the Buccaneers, took to social media on Monday and encouraged the franchise to bring him back into the fold. The a seven-time Pro Bowl wide receiver replied to a team Instagram post that announced the Bucs were the first team to return all 22 Super Bowl starters since 1977.
“Sign @ab,” Brown said, referring to his Instagram handle.
Tampa Bay has discussed a deal with Brown, but the two sides are “not close right now” in terms of how much money Brown would earn, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
“They want to bring him back, the Bucs do, just at a different number than he has in mind right now,” Garafolo said on Thursday’s edition of “Good Morning Football.”
Brown earned $2 million while playing half of the 2020 season for the Buccaneers and performed well, so he reportedly wants a raise. Tampa Bay, which has already committed significant money to wideouts Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, is likely betting that no other teams are willing to give Brown a big payday. The Bucs could then keep Brown on a cheap contract.
At this point, Brown doesn’t have much leverage, and that won’t change unless another suitor comes into play. The Bucs may ultimately grant his wish by re-signing him — just not at his preferred price.