The Wrong Splash

February 20th, 2019


Let’s put this one to bed from the start. He ain’t coming.

Antonio Brown is one heck of a football player. If you’re inclined to brand him the premier wide receiver in the league, I wouldn’t argue with you.

But he doesn’t belong anywhere near the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Is Brown available in a trade? Absolutely. He wants out of Pittsburgh and many members of Steeler Nation can’t wait to hold open the locker room door for a guy with six consecutive 100-catch seasons.

Brown will be moved within the next few months and this is a legitimate difference-maker, a player you must account for in your defensive game plan every week.

Still, the Bucs should pass, even if the compensation is relatively meager.

Antonio Brown with one of his early NFL mentors, Bruce Arians.

When Bruce Arians drew up a list of Tampa Bay priorities heading into free agency and the draft, wide receiver was probably the last position group on his list. Mike Evans is a Pro Bowler, Chris Godwin is a talented young player on the rise and the Bucs have the resources and the will to retain Adam Humphries.

Add in O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate and it’s clear Jameis Winston doesn’t lack big-time targets.

Arians has already described Brown as a diva and the Bucs don’t need another DeSean Jackson on their hands Besides, Evans had a better 2018 than Brown.

Believe me I know, because Brown was my first pick in fantasy football. Yes, he scored 15 touchdowns, but he also had eight games with less than 75 yards. Evans had five. Brown posted five 100-yard games, Evans had eight.

Brown won’t come out and say it, but he couldn’t handle the ascension of JuJu Smith-Schuster as Ben Roethlisberger’s new go-to receiver. Brown was targeted 168 times last year, two more than Smith-Schuster, but Brown finished with seven less receptions and 129 fewer yards.

Brown will turn 31 by training camp. He’s got plenty of good football left and his training regimen is impressive.

“I’ve told all of our receivers, if you get a chance to watch him practice, you’ll see what unlocks the greatness in him,” says Jon Gruden. “He’s the hardest working man, I think, in football. Hardest-working player I’ve ever seen practice. I’ve seen Jerry Rice, I’ve seen a lot of good ones, but I put Antonio Brown at the top. If there are any young wideouts out there, I’d go watch him practice. You figure out yourself why he’s such a good player.”

Too Weak

Jason Licht and Arians need to be smart about this.

If Brown ends up on the Patriots and he hoists the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Miami, so be it. New England has the veteran leadership to handle Brown’s personality.

The Bucs couldn’t even handle Swaggy Baker.

Just because Brown is available in trade doesn’t mean the Bucs should kick the tires. He makes zero sense for this franchise at this time.

Buc fans have spoken on this growing website and their message is clear — focus on the offensive line, running back and cornerback.

Unless Brown wants to shadow Julio Jones or Michael Thomas, move on.

Brown is going to be a steal for the right team at the right price. That team is not this team. This team needs to address issues in the trenches.

This team needs to build better chemistry and you don’t do that by adding an unstable element.

Trading for Brown would be an ill-advised splash move for a franchise with major needs elsewhere. Let Brown take his talents to South Beach or Foxborough.

Winston will understand.

Ira Kaufman began covering the NFL as a New York Giants beat writer in 1979. He arrived on the Buccaneers beat in 1985. The corporate leash was removed from his neck when he joined in July 2016. The award-winning Ira Kaufman Podcast fires twice per week, and Ira’s columns appear thrice weekly, except when Ira is on special assignment. Tampa Bay’s only Hall of Fame voter also is a popular guest on various national radio and on local TV. All his work at JoeBucsFan is presented by Ed Morse Cadillac Tampa and Ed Morse Cadillac Brandon.

36 Responses to “The Wrong Splash”

  1. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I think we should bring in Brown……..John Brown.

  2. tmaxcon Says:

    But he doesn’t belong anywhere near the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    No player with talent or a desire to win should be apart of buccaneer franchise….

    Ira is the leader of those fearful of personality or talent god forbid they surpass the under achieving has beens that this site worships for achieving 1 good year. God forbid the standards get raised so theses has beens will go away and stop celebrating a failed past.

  3. Dewey Selmon Says:

    If Jameis can’t hit DJax what makes you think he can hit Antonio Brown, John Brown or Charlie Brown.

  4. 813bucboi Says:

    AB’s best option would be the bears imo….they need a big time WR and a play maker on offense…..

    i never thought he was in the mix to come to tampa in the first place…..winston has too many “cooks in the kitchen” as it is…..


  5. The Real Malloy Says:


    Now you’ve gone too far. No one insults ‘The Sage’.

    You should be banned from this site, then tarred and feathered.


  6. Alanbucsfan Says:

    They don’t need any frickin receivers
    Trench talent and linebackers!!

  7. Defense Rules Says:

    We’ve got DJax’s replacement already on the Bucs’ roster … Chris Godwin. I know, not as fast, not as much of a deep threat, yada, yada. BUT … compare the two in 2018:

    o DJax: 12 games .. 74 targets .. 41 catches .. 55.4% .. 774 yds .. 4 TD .. 0 fumbles
    o Godwin: 16 games .. 95 targets .. 59 catches .. 62.1% .. 842 yds .. 7 TD .. 4 fumbles

    Godwin’s problem last year was that he got beaten up pretty bad. A lot of that IMO had to do with play design & QBs not getting the ball to him early enough (he got absolutely crunched more than once). Fumbling wasn’t an issue his first year (0 fumbles in 2017). He’ll be fine. We need DJax’s $10 mil more than we need DJax.

  8. Doctor_berto Says:


    Because he can hit everyone else besides Djax…

  9. StoutGospel Says:

    Nobody said AB was coming!?! Wrote a whole article on that?!? We have a #1 WR in ME 13. WTH.

    Anyway…the Vikings radio voice Paul Allen (per PFT just now) speculates that Xavier Rhodes could be a cap casualty this offseason cuz of Cousin’s contract cap crunch, etc.

    Xavier Rhodes! Now that’s news, if Paul’s even close to correct.

    Bucs should definitely target that young stud!!

    Go get him Licht!

  10. Mike Johnson Says:

    As much As I luv Antonio’s talent, Ira is spot on. This team needs Chemistry and Brown disrupts any togetherness unless..the spotLight is on him..First! I’m just hopin Djax catches his express flight out of Bucland fast.

  11. Jean Lafitte Says:

    If they let DJax go you can bet ME13 numbers will come down this season. Not a fair comparison really. DJax has a CB and a Safety to deal with most of the time. Godwin is usually matched up man to man while the defense will roll the safety over to ME13. On paper, Godwin’s #s look better but not being double covered is to his advantage. Until Godwin proves he can beat single coverage consistently, defenses will slide the free safety towards ME13. So if DJax is released, Godwin will have to pick up his game and help keep ME13 relatively clean. When you have basically two #1 WR’s, the defense has to pick their poison on which one to shade coverage to and because of DJax’s speed and his history of taking the top off the defense, he’s the one usually saddled with two defenders.

  12. Pickgrin Says:

    Bucs are more than fine at WR – and certainly can’t afford Brown’s $16M cap hit.

    What the Buccaneers SHOULD do is trade DJax and GMC to the Jaguars…. for Jalen Ramsey…

  13. Pickgrin Says:

    if you’re itching to bring in a so-called mal-content that is….

  14. Patrickbucs Says:

    Yeah the front runner Ramsey, the Jags should trade him. Way overrated this past year when things started turning badly.

    Jags wouldn’t take those two anyway, believe they have serious cap issues once they cut Bortles and the aging most expensive D-Line in the league. Sure new Bucs coaching staff could get him back to his first year play..

  15. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Go look at ME13’s total catches from week 13 to week 15, the 3 weeks DJax was out. ME13 had 4 catches a game. When DJax was on the field ME13 averaged 6 catches per game. That’s evidence right there how DJax’s presence benefits ME13. While DJax was out the defense doubled Mike.

  16. 813bucboi Says:


    imo, i think OJ going down had more to do with it….

    when evans and djax was on the field together, neither was getting the ball……the offense was predictable due to the lack of the running game and personnel….it was hump cashing in from the slot…

    we use 2TE sets and run the ball more effectively, we wont miss djax….


  17. Neal Says:

    @Tmax. Just complain some more. That’s really helping and totally not making you look like a crybaby B i t c h.

  18. GhostofSchiano Says:

    I agree with IRA.

    Better yet the only FA I want to see Licht go after are those that can RUN / Pass block or stop a runner or sack a quarterback. In other words the TRENCHES.


  19. Darin Says:

    This seems like a captain obvious article Ira. These guys are smart enough to know not to touch him. You’re right he is a difference maker. It always makes a difference when guys dont show up for practice and games. Selfish players make a huge difference. Aint happening here and Ill be surprised if he fetches a 3rd or more.

  20. The Real Malloy Says:


    LOL. Truer words were never said.


  21. StoutGospel Says:


    (Based on your nickname)…are you French?!?!?!?!?!

    Cause it SURE seems like there have been 1 too many pastries ingested.

    Crazy noisemaker…..around keeping DJax (?!?!) , and (her/his/its) obsession with the diminutization of Mike Evans #13’s probability for (future) success.

    Entering @Bonzai’s whackadoo land….


    Go Bucs!

  22. Jean Lafitte Says:


    This is a Bucs blog where differing ideals from Buc fans are encouraged and is given a platform to comment. I can’t help you’re a brownshirt communist that doesn’t like or want any other opinions besides your own. Do you think trashing me makes you look better? FO

  23. Bird Says:

    He is the best receiver in The NFL for the last 5 years. 15 tds last year. You know how hard 15 tds are for a receiver.

    My fantasy football wins were largely do to him.

    Trust me. Someone with give up more the a mid round / 3rd round pick. The 49ers May give him a 1st since they are so desperate for receiver to match up with Garapalo. You know what’s even more amazing is the double teams he has faced over the years. Doesn’t matter with this guy. He is a baller.

    Is he a diva. Yup. Most of the best receivers usually are ?
    You can’t duplicate his production. Every team should want this guy.

    Is he good matchup for Bucs? No way in hell .. could you see him complain to Jameis about not getting the ball enough. Then joe would bash brown for being a malcontent/over rated. . It wouldn’t be pretty.

  24. Bird Says:


    He is right.
    A defense has to account for a guy like desean who can score a 60 yard td in blink of an eye.

    He creates spacing. Routes underneath. Takes the top off the defense. Safety has to stay deep.

    Desean has 24 td of more then 60 yards. He beat out jerry rice last year for most of all time.
    Say what you want but mike will get more attention and doubles. Godwin not scaring anyone yet. Maybe this year he blows up.

    Hopefully Arians uses Howard creatively in a way to not allow some many doubles on mike Evans who is a bad man . ME13

  25. TampaTown Says:

    Neal: you mean B E O T C H. Lol

  26. ButtMonkey Says:

    Is it just me or does tmaxcon sound like a brand of tampons?

  27. ButtMonkey Says:


  28. cmurda Says:

    @TBBF. Yup, John Brown can stretch the field and won’t break the bank. We could use a complementary speed WR like J Brown. The focus does need to be on O Line first, then secondary and RB.

  29. Herbiebuc Says:

    So we just gonna come to the conclusion that AB was the problem? I don’t know that’s two star players who just quit on there team, maybe rothlisberger is the problem, maybe Mike Tomlin Is the problem. if djax is gone like we know he probably is why not swap AB for djax I would much rather have AB than djax! This is my first time ever hearing anything negative about AB before this year. And last just because djax didn’t have a 1,000 yard season he did put up 774 yards and 4 tds who’s gonna replace that when he leaves if we can get better and win super bowls then why are we waiting? Stop settleing for Stand up guys like Derrick Brooks go get u some more Warren Sapp and John Lynch that’s when we gonna start being epic again

  30. The Realist Says:

    He’s a quitter Nuff said.

  31. StoutGospel Says:

    Lol…French indeed. The f*cking French. Always watching ever war happen, get solved by the US or UK…kickin’ it in the bistro, strolling on the plaza. I nailed it…f*cking French.

    But Go Bucs!!!

  32. Jean Lafitte Says:

    Thanks Bird

    All I was trying to convey was even though DJax is a diva, and a possible bad teammate he still commands respect from defenses. Without him Evans numbers will be impacted unless they can find someone to duplicate what DJax brings to the table. That is all. I can’t stand divas either but I do live in reality and don’t deserve to be insulted.

  33. Jean Lafitte Says:


    I am a Haitian born American. Go ahead say something racist?

  34. Alanbucsfan Says:

    I’m beginning to think that the Tampa media has
    DHS Djax Hate Syndrome.

    Anyone who doesn’t think Evans, DJax and Godwin as the starting receivers with a coached up Jameis and hopefully a satisfactory coached up running game wouldn’t be a lethal offense is just a hater. DJax will not complain if the coaches aren’t full of it like last 2 years.
    Humphries was productive, but he is not worth 7-8 million- they need that $ for trenches

  35. BucNole Says:

    The only trade I want to wee with the Steelers is them giving us a 3rd or 4th pick Djax

  36. German Buc Says:

    Alan, there is absolutely no hate for DJax. He had 3 of the 5 top plays in 2018 for our Buccaneers. So it is safe to say, he was good on the field. Unfortunately, he was – presumably – not so good in the locker room. Now add the fact, that 7m for Hump is less than 10m for DJax.
    So if I had to decide whom to keep, I’d prefer paying Hump 7m and invest 3m more to the trenches.