TAMPA — Tom Brady is a big advocate for troubled but talented former Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, and the quarterback certainly enjoyed the one game they played together in Week 2 last season for the Patriots.
Having been released by the Raiders on Sept. 7 due to his antics, Brown signed with New England on the same day, then caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown in a 43-0 win over Miami before more off-field problems prompted the Patriots to release him.
There had been speculation that Brown might join Brady with the Buccaneers. On Wednesday, Brown was asked on Instagram if he would sign with Tampa Bay, and he gave a one-word response: “expeditiously.”
Earlier this week, the Bucs lost receiver Breshad Perriman, who signed as a free agent with the Jets.
But Bucs coach Bruce Arians ended all speculation about Brown during an interview Thursday on CBS Sports’ Tiki and Tierney show.
"Yeah, it’s not going to happen,” Arians said. “It’s just not going to happen. There’s no room and probably not enough money. But it’s just not going to happen. It’s not a fit here.''
Arians was offensive coordinator for Pittsburgh from 2007 through 2011, his final two years being Brown’s first with the team.
When asked if he would take Brown on a minimum contract, Arians said, "No. I just know him, and it’s not a fit in our locker room.”
The Bucs have Mike Evans and Chris Godwin at receiver as well as Justin Watson and Scotty Miller in reserve roles. It’s also a very deep draft at receiver. What’s more, they only have about $14-million or so of salary cap room, which also has to be used for draft picks and injured reserve.
The biggest takeaway is that Arians doesn’t think Brown is worth the trouble.