After retaining all 22 starters from their Super Bowl-winning squad of last season, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers continue to bring back key pieces from that championship run. The latest is wide receiver Antonio Brown, who has agreed to a one-year deal with the team, according to the NFL Network's Tom Pelissero. The deal is worth up to $6.25 million with $3.1 million fully guaranteed.
Brown joined the Buccaneers in late October of last season. His arrival in Tampa Bay came after a whirlwind of a year in 2019 where he was traded from the Steelers to the Raiders in the offseason, only to force his way out of Las Vegas and eventually sign with the Patriots. His stint in New England lasted only one game after off-the-field issues bubbled to the surface and led the club to release him. With the Bucs, however, Brown enjoyed one of the calmer periods of his career as of late in 2020 and helped the organization en-route to a Super Bowl LV title over the Kansas City Chiefs.
A trusted weapon of Tom Brady, Brown hauled in 45 of his 62 targets for 483 yards and four touchdowns over his eight regular-season games. In the playoffs, he added eight catches for 81 yards and two scores.
Given that success both as a personal fit and a fit roster-wise, it wasn't a surprise to hear that Brown wanted to return to Tampa Bay this offseason. Throughout this free-agent process, the Buccaneers seemed quite open to the idea of bringing Brown back into the fold as well, although they were reportedly apart on money during the early portions of these negotiations. That desire by the team to get Brown back for their title defense was only further intensified once his off-the-field legal troubles were cleared up. Earlier this month, the Pro Bowl receiver reached a settlement on a civil dispute with former trainer Britney Taylor, who accused him of sexual assault. Once that was in the rearview mirror, a clearer road emerged for Brown's return.
This has truly been an unprecedented offseason for the defending champs. Not only have they brought back all 22 Super Bowl starters, but the Buccaneers will also have their top 16 snap-count leaders on offense, top 21 snap-counter leaders on defense, and have all their coordinators back. Having that level of continuity should do wonders as Tampa Bay tries to become the first team since the 2003-2004 Patriots to win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.