The relationship between Tom Brady and Antonio Brown was made in a meager 11 days a year ago, when the duo was unlikely to pair up briefly to give the New England Patriots the insulting scream they lacked after being released to Brady’s apparent disappointment.
That it will soon resume now in Tampa Bay was predictable only for those who follow the breadcrumbs of their chemistry and who understand the dynamics of the power of the NFL franchise who watched this game in Miami last September, when in just a few days practice, Brown caught four passes for 56 yards, including a beauty throw from behind Brady̵
“I don’t make any of those decisions,” Brady said. “I just show up and play and do my job.”
Well, not quite. What Brady wants, Brady often gets, which is why his constant support for Brown – he retrieved Brown’s repentant tweet in March, adding heartfelt emoticons – culminates on Friday night with the news that Bucanists are expected to sign it soon. This upcoming deal falls completely on Brady’s lap to work. He made little attempt to hide his disappointment for most of last season at Foxborough because he did not have the weapons he thought the Patriots should have. He has a bunch of them in the Bucs, but there’s no doubt Brown wouldn’t be in Tampa if Brady didn’t want him there.
Is Brady’s passion for Brown weird? Maybe a little, although he also remained loyal during Brown’s darkest days. Is it a bad idea that everything is forgiven before Brown even endured eight games for repeated violations of the league’s personal policy? Sure. These violations stem from Brown’s unsolicited accusation of burglary and battery charging in Florida and the accusations he sends in frightening texts to a woman who accuses him of making an unwanted advance on her.
When its suspension was announced in July, the NFL was still considering civil claims for sexual assault and rape against the recipient, although Commissioner Roger Goodell made a particularly sympathetic note when he spoke about Brown at the Super Bowl in January, saying the league was thinking primarily of his well-being and wanting to help him get on the rails to be successful in life.
But the most confusing thing is why a team like Bucs, which so clearly aspires to the Super Bowl, is ready to take on one of the most ardent people in the game, even if it would satisfy the star quarterback. It’s worth remembering that when the last Brown was on the news regularly, he had slipped out of Pittsburgh, suffered a leg injury from cryotherapy, refused to practice with the Raiders over a helmet dispute, nearly got into a fight with Raiders general manager Mike. Mayok escaped from the Raiders and then spent a short time in New England before the Patriots released him when the disturbing allegations surfaced and the League’s investigation began.
The answer seems obvious. The Bucs are all-in, bringing together Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy and Leonard Fournette to add to their own star receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin and one of the league’s best defenses. The problem is that so many of Bucs’ weapons have been killed. And given that Brown is only expected to sign a one-year contract, which will be only half a year in practice, as he is not allowed to play until his suspension ends after 8 weeks, this is a low-risk, potentially extremely high reward move. . None of what the Bucs have done recently has anything to do with the long term – their future is until around February. You just have to keep Brown on the right track until then.
Brady’s role will be critical, not only as a team leader, but also as Brown’s advisor and confidant. And, needless to say, Brown must now repay Brady for his firm support. In March, Bruce Arians, the Bucks’ head coach who was Pittsburgh’s offensive coordinator for Brown’s first two seasons as Steeler, expressed concern about Brown’s dynamic creation when asked about the prospect of reuniting with Brown.
“It won’t happen,” he said in a radio interview. “There’s no room, you know? It just doesn’t work here. I just know him and he’s not suitable in our locker room.”
It fits now. Arians and Brown will have to reconcile, but of course, that will be much more likely when Brady plays a middleman. If they do, and if Brown can be even a percentage of what was his best in Pittsburgh, he’ll certainly help with a foul that finally showed its potential in crushing the Packers 38-10 last weekend. . For his part, Brown has struck the right notes of remorse since the summer.
“I look forward to a fresh start,” he wrote on Instagram after announcing his suspension. “I want to be the best version of myself on and off the field and I will do my best to be a great teammate.”
That would be a relief for the Bucs and a reward for their quarterback.