Antonio Brown is expected to sign with the Buccaneers on Monday after the two sides came to terms on a one-year contract. The four-time All-Pro receiver, whose eight-game suspension is set to expire next week, will join a Buccaneers team that is 5-2 after defeating the Raiders in Las Vegas on Sunday. Brown will be reunited in Tampa with quarterback Tom Brady, who threw for 369 yards and four touchdowns in Sunday's 45-20 win.
Following Sunday's win, Brady and Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians were asked about Brown, who has not been on an NFL roster since the Patriots released him after just one game during the 2019 season. Brown, who endured a tumultuous 18 months that included ugly exits from Pittsburgh and Oakland, has not been on an NFL roster since the Patriots released him on September 20.
"He's a tremendous football player," Brady said about Brown, via Greg Auman of The Athletic. "I played with him for a brief period of time. I'm looking forward to working with him again. He's a very hard-working guy."
Arians, who served as Brown's offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh during Brown's first NFL seasons, dismissed reports that Brady was the driving force behind the team's decision to sign Brown.
"Tom had nothing to do with this," Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. "This is something (GM) Jason (Licht) and I have been talking about for some time."
Arians, who called the addition of Brown an insurance policy for Tampa Bay's offense, was asked why he and the Buccaneers have decided to roll the dice on Brown, whose civil sexual assault trial is set for December.
"I think he's matured," said Arians, who added that Brown "won't be with us" if the allegations he is facing in his civil suit turn out to be true. "I believe in second chances. Everybody wants to say Tom picked him. Tom didn't have anything to do with it."
Tampa Bay receivers Scott Miller and Chris Godwin, who combined to catch 15 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns on Sunday, were also asked about the addition of Brown, the NFL's leader in receptions, yards and touchdowns from 2013-18.
"It's a really unselfish group," Godwin said. "We're looking forward to adding another really good piece."
"I'm excited," said Miller, who said the Buccaneers' receiving corps -- a group that also includes three-time Pro Bowl receiver Mike Evans -- can be scary. "The end goal is to win, every single week."
After a slow start, the Buccaneers' offense has scored 83 points over the past two games. Through seven games, Brady has thrown 18 touchdowns against just four interceptions. In Sunday's win over the Raiders, Tampa Bay amassed 454 total yards and 29 first downs while going 7 of 12 on third down and 5 of 6 in the red zone. Along with his talented receiving corps, Tampa Bay's offense also includes tight end Rob Gronkowski (who caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown on Sunday) and running backs Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones, who on Sunday combined to rush for 84 yards and a touchdown.
Brown is expected to make his Buccaneers debut in Week 9, when Tampa Bay hosts the Saints on "Sunday Night Football."