The Buccaneers have won four of their last five games at the hands of a Tom BradY who has 15 touchdown passes for a single interception in that span. More importantly, Tampa Bay also won in the trenches of free agency by adding another dangerous – and unpredictable – weapon to an already packed arsenal.
By officially signing to Antonio Brown Tuesday morning, the Bucs opened up a deck of possibilities that made their 43-year-old quarterback’s job much easier. Not that I need it much, after all the chemistry with Rob Gronkowski (22 receptions, 280 yards and 2 TDs) is back, Mike Evans (25 receptions, 318 yards and 6 TDs) and Chris Godwin (25 receptions, 279 yards and 2 TDs) remain as explosive as ever and in the until recently unknown Scott Miller (22 receptions, 365 yards and 2 TDs) has found a valuable ally.
The foregoing makes clear the masterful job that Brady has done in delivering the cake, serving his four guests with virtually identical portions.
So, Where does Antonio Brown fit in on that offense?
At 32 years old and a season out of the league, Brown apparently arrives as a supporting actor and not with a leading role to Tampa Bay, where you will have to earn each of your plays and show in each practice that you deserve to have the ball fly in your direction. Talent and his coaching ethic are not in doubt, they never have been. But it’s his ability to shed the ego and hang it on the front door where the risk is for the Bucs.
Beyond putting the ball in their hands, the main task of Brady and the coach Bruce Arians will be to sell your new recipient the concept of collective good on the individual good.
Will this be enough for the volatile Brown? It will have to be seen, especially in the way your contract is structured.
According to a report by Sports Illustrated, Brown signed for a base salary of 1,416 million, prorated to the last few weeks represents something like $ 750,000. Also, receive 31,250 for each game that is active (250,000 for the season), and an additional quarter million for each of the following incentives: Six touchdowns, 650 yards and 45 receptions, all of this also tied to a playoff appearance. If Brown appears in 35% of offensive plays and the Bucs win the Super Bowl, an additional $ 750,000 is pocketed.
In short, Brown has to average 5.6 receptions, 81.25 yards and 0.75 touchdowns per game to get an additional $ 750,000.Reason enough to keep him in line, although they could also be the incentive that leads him to demand more balls in his direction and hit the demolition button inside the dressing room.
According to various reports, Arians “read the card” to Brown on Monday telling Fox Sports that “either you are a team player or you leave”, which is basically what the rest of the team wants to hear about the newcomer, who comes to add and not to divide.
But, What if Antonio Brown behaves like Antonio Brown?
The simplest thing is to cut the thread at the thinnestBut that could also create a latent conflict between Arians and the person responsible for Brown being in Tampa Bay in the first place, Brady, who since signing with the Bucs has been lobbying for AB. If the experiment doesn’t work, a power struggle could break out.