The Tampa Bay Buccaneers signed Antonio Brown because Tom Brady wanted a new set of hands to target.
It surely was not for the multiple sexual misconduct and domestic violence accusations that women have levied against him. Or a battery charge from a moving-truck driver this year. Or clashes with coaches. Or fits about a helmet. Or an eight-game NFL suspension. Or lack of game action for 13 months.
But, hey, Brady had Tony Robbins talk to Brown, according to Miami talk show host Andy Slater, and invited Brown to live with his family as Patriots teammates, so there’s that.
Jason Licht must be in trouble because it seems like Brady wants to play Tampa Bay general manager too, after playing one game with Brown in New England before he was released within two weeks because of an NFL conduct investigation.
This is a guy for whom the Patriots swallowed a $9 million signing bonus to cut, who cost the Raiders two draft picks to dump, who prompted the Steelers to eat a $21 million cap charges to trade and who repeatedly posted “F— the NFL” criticisms of the league on social media over the past year. That is the league that allowed him to serve a suspension while not on a roster.
“It’s not a fit here,” Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians, Brown’s offensive coordinator in Pittsburgh, told CBS Sports Radio in March. He also said that Brown was “too much of a diva” last year on an ESPN podcast.
But Brady wanted him, so sign here, Antonio. At 32 and after declaring he was done with football, Brown gets another lucrative one-year contract and will debut on Nov. 8 against New Orleans, the team he said put on a “publicity stunt” when it gave him a workout in December.
This is going to be a heck of a 30 for 30.