Peter King calls it “dot-connecting,” so take it for what it’s worth.
But in his Football Morning in America column, King lists the Bucs among five possible landing spots for disgruntled Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.
“DeSean Jackson wants a new start out of Tampa,” King writes. “The new coach of the Bucs, Bruce Arians, was the Steelers’ play-caller in 2011, when Brown had his breakout NFL season. Arians wants to throw the ball deep more than any head coach in football. Makes sense to me.”
The Panthers, Jets, Raiders and Washington are the other destinations mentioned.
King acknowledges up front that Brown likely has hurt his market value by getting benched for the final game of the season and repeatedly criticizing the Steelers organization over the past month and a half.
Brown’s stock has fallen so far, in fact, King writes, that “a smart guy in the league told me the other day: ‘Look for the desperate teams with Brown.’”
In this instance, he’s referring to Washington, which hasn’t won a playoff game in 14 seasons.
King does not mention Arians calling Brown a “diva” on Adam Schefter’s podcast in January, so he must not see that as an obstacle to Brown coming to Tampa Bay.
“From afar, it’s just too much miscommunication, too much diva,” Arians said on the podcast. “I’ve heard so many stories, and I like Antonio. He plays as hard as anyone on Sundays and he practices hard, but you’ve just got to make better decisions off the field, be on time, do some of those little things.”
Further limiting Brown’s potential suitors is the Steelers’ preference to trade him to an NFC team.
Could it be the Bucs? We’ll have to wait and see.
Bucs general manager Jason Licht said on Wednesday that’s not something that’s currently on the table.