Report: Playoff Lenny, Antonio Brown Not Close With Bucs

March 25th, 2021

Bucs GM Jason Licht

It seems unless Playoff Lenny and furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing Antonio Brown adjust their expectations, they may be out of a job for a while and could be on a new roster this fall.

That’s the message Joe is getting from a report filed by Jenna Laine of ESPN. While the Bucs have not washed their hands of the two key players in the Bucs’ Super Bowl-winning season, it seems the two are quite a distance from what the Bucs are willing to shell out from the Team Glazer vault.

Playoff Lenny may find a better chance of getting paid closer to what he is seeking than Brown, Laine notes.

It’s reasonable to think Fournette should ask for a raise from the $2 million he got last year after his strong playoff performance (448 scrimmage yards in the postseason), but how much, especially when he’s still splitting carries with Ronald Jones? He’s also got mileage, had some drops, but is still physically powerful and is a better natural pass-catcher than Jones.

Brown is a victim of a slumping receiver market. Teams, for whatever reason, have been unwilling to throw wads of cash at receivers this offseason, Laine notes.

As Ian Rapoport said on a recent appearance on The Pat McAfee Show, Laine also stated Brown will likely have to swallow another prove-it contract if he were to return to the Bucs.

… [T]he wide receiver market has been sluggish despite being loaded with talent. It took JuJu Smith-Schuster a week to re-sign with the Steelers and Kenny Golladay six days to agree to terms with the New York Giants, who will pay him $18 million per season. But the next two highest-paid players at the position who were free agents? Godwin and Allen Robinson, who are both playing under the franchise tag.

… Larry Fitzgerald, Golden Tate, Sammy Watkins, Danny Amendola, Cordarrelle Patterson, Mohamed Sanu and Adam Humphries are all unsigned. One argument is teams prioritized other positions because of this. It also looks to be yet another special draft class, like 2020. But where does that leave Brown? Likely on another incentive-laden “prove it” deal if he were to return to Tampa. Last year, that was a one-year deal with a base salary of $750,000 with incentives that pushed the value to $2.5 million, some of which he reached.

Later Wednesday, T.Y. Hilton’s agent said his client will return to the Colts on a one-year, $10 million deal.

And, of course, Brown also has his unresolved legal issues hanging over his head. Combined with his past well-publicized stunts, this is obviously dragging down his revenue potential.

Perhaps finding “Utopia” with the Bucs last season will persuade Brown to stay put? Joe sure hopes so.

48 Responses to “Report: Playoff Lenny, Antonio Brown Not Close With Bucs”

  1. CleanHouse Says:

    I think the Bucs should re-adjust their expectations and recognize that these two were just as important to the Championship as any other guys.

    In fact you could make the argument that maybe even more so.

    You’d have to be blind to not recognize what Fournette did when it counted

    And who caught a Super Bowl TD?

    Make some more room and sign these two immediately!

    In fact I’d even sign and trade Godwin to free up room for these two- as sac religious as that sounds… We could potentially get a nice future pick in return and dump his salary

    Who else is there to restructure, and would they be willing?

  2. CleanHouse Says:

    and you could bring back Humphreys as a slot, would be perfect with Brady

  3. Joe Says:

    and you could bring back Humphreys as a slot

    Remember: Arians didn’t want Humphries at slot. Not quick enough. Arians likes speed at slot.

    Thursday morning currently scheduled for 9 a.m. may be an interesting name for slot, but Joe is in no hurry to push Godwin out of the way.

  4. Devin DiPalma Says:

    Respectfully, no way in hell they should trade Godwin in order to sign these two.

  5. patrickbucs Says:

    I think both were obviously definitely important, however Brown didn’t really play against the Saints or the Packers and they still won. It depends on what he wants, the more important guys are signed imo. would love to have both back though.

    What is the market for those 2, what are they asking for? It’s been weeks and neither have signed elsewhere for big $$ so you have to keep that in mind. Plus we have depth, and a number of draft picks to help reload.

  6. The Red Mirage Says:

    I say AMF to both of them.

  7. FactTeller Says:

    1 year 3 million for AB get er done Jason

  8. Jeebs the Honey Bear Says:

    AB and Lenny definitely contributed to our championship. But I disagree that Bucs need to “readjust expectations” and re-sign them for above their market value, which seems to be low. The truth is that AB and Lenny also benefited from the opportunity and circumstance. The Bucs already have enough firepower at receiver with Evans, Godwin, Miller, and Johnson, plus Gronk, Howard, and Brate. RB is the easiest position to replace. In fact the Bucs may believe that Vaughn in year 2 can replace Lenny. If not, there are a bunch of free agent RB still on the market, as well as the draft. The Bucs are in the driver seat in negotiating with AB and Lenny, and they should not cave under any circumstances.

  9. tbbucs3 Says:

    Whats AB’s biggest weakness as a player?

    The offseason.

    Maybe it’s for the best that we got him midseason.

  10. adam from ny Says:

    umm…these 2 guys were late additions last year…

    the bucs signed the top 6 of the so called 8…

    now they can sit tight and work the market and contemplate AB and Lenny — as well as all these other attractive free agents…

    well played mr. licht…well played

  11. adam from ny Says:

    i can see them going into the season with rojo and vaughn…

    yes i think they can get vaughn more up to speed with a real offseason…

    and draft a preferred back they have their eye on – like the kid out of ucla – he looks like the real deal…

    the kid can stop on a dime and change direction with power and speed…he’s got juke, jive and wiggle all in one package…

    also i think they sign tom’s homie AB

  12. J$MCSports Says:

    They definitely could move on from both but should they answer is no? I just believe it will take a lot more for a scouting man like Licht to go and ask others to sacrifice for Lenny. They want to lock him up I believe while he is low and wants to play for Brady. I believe Marpet or Jensen will restructure for Lennys return. AB is another story he will return after the draft for a vet minimum to get past his legal issues.

  13. SteelStudBuc Says:

    I would like to see Humphries back, cheaper than Brown… solid dude, Titans barely use him, was a solid player here, lots of heart

  14. NDoGS burner Account Says:

    With the draft around the corner and the likelihood that the Bucs will have a shot at drafting one of the top 2 RBs I’d be signing anything half decent they threw in front of my if I was Fournette.

  15. Rod Munch Says:

    Bucs need to find a legit #3 WR, and no, dummies, Scotty Miller is not that person. Even Humphries, who is sitting on the unemployment line, would be a better fit as a #3 WR, and I’m not a big fan of his. Miller is a great 1-trick pony deep ball guy, but outside of that hasn’t done much. But as a #4, I love him.

    They really do need to bring back Brown if they can get even remotely close on numbers. The thing about Brown is that he can fill the role of a true #1 WR, so when Evans and Godwin get their year injuries, which are yearly, he’s a guy who can play without worry of there being a big drop off. I know the cap is tight, but this should be at the top of the to-do list.

    As for Lenny, I’d like to have him back, but I’m not gonna worry about it if he leaves. Obviously the Bucs feel the same way.

  16. Chris Thomas from Heaven Says:

    I feel no urgency to sign those two. I did feel it for all the other guys.

  17. Jaymiss Pick6 Again Says:

    Lenny…meh..Sign AB

  18. geno711 Says:

    I am curious Rod who are the NFL teams with very good #3 receivers.
    I thought that was Dallas last year but their numbers 1 and 2 were not as good as ours and they had no tight end play.

    With the receivers in this draft class, the receivers on the market and having Miller and Tyler Johnson on the team, I do not see this as a big need.

    Many NFL teams are looking for legit #1 receivers:
    NE, Cincy, Det, Jax and others

    Many NFL teams are looking for reasonable #2 receivers.

    Offensive line depth, cornerback depth, edge rusher depth, QB depth and running back depth are more important than a better #3 than Miller at this point.

    Do you disagree?

  19. Darin Says:

    Same response as If shaq had wanted too much…adios. They’ll be missed less than shaq would’ve. I think upgrades to both can be found in the draft.

  20. Leighroy Says:

    AB was signed after OJ went down. Maybe our number 3 WR more so takes the form of Cameron Brate (who doesn’t block), a healthy OJ or Gronk catching more balls than he did last year?

    The fact that the Bucs are far apart with these two, means they aren’t overplaying their hand and are waiting for the right value to sign a couple of guys who Cary different forms of risk.

  21. Stanglassman Says:

    The last two drafts have been so deep at the Wr position it’s had to have an effect on the position. People are comparing it to what the Rb position has been at the last decade. No one is saying it’s the same but trending in that direction. AB gonna have to suck it up and play for a couple of million. I think there’s maybe a little more of a market for Lenny but not much better.

    The Bucs decently prioritized the the right players and positions this offseason. A monumental task and they got it done.


    There was a post above thatasked, what is AB’s weakness? The answer there isn’t one. Sign him. Lenny has weaknesses, dropped balls, shiftyness and speed. He us a hard nose bruising back and that’s ok but Bycs already have one in Rojo.

  23. Buc4evr Says:

    AB runs better pass routes than anyone on the team and can easily play #1 if needed. Bucs need to find a way to sign him.

  24. Mitch Says:

    Patience is key here. Bucs will figure it out.

  25. Erick Says:

    Sign AB, move on from Fournette.

    Someone actually said trade Godwin to keep these two…yikes

  26. Robert Says:

    If they let AB we will not get another SB. ME upped his game after AB came on board and CG wilted under pressure in the playoffs….plus I don’t think one of them will not escape they injury bug. AB is better than CG if we are playing for a 2 year window.

  27. alton d green Says:

    As a 6 decade fan of pro football and a career fan of Tompa, I would LOVE to see the Bucs sign Corderrall Patterson. If rhere ever was a complete player, he is. Kick off returns he is a threat on every play. In the back field? same. Catching out of the backfield? same. Now here is a cherry on top. He doesn’t drop the freak’n passes. Dear Lord how many passes do we have to drop to do something?? That’s a rhetorical question

  28. mark2001 Says:

    Remember…Lenny was almost cut from the team, after his inactive game last year. That screams to me, that he may or may not of learned from that experience. And as far as AB is concerned… who really knows. So in my mind, a lower incentive laden contract isn’t unfair or unwarranted. In fact, it is the only smart way to go.

    At a point in time, we have to say…fish or cut bait with these guys, and replace them if we see fit. Or maybe with the RB’s and WR’s in the draft, Jason has decided to wait until after the draft. And sign or replace them then. After all…isn’t RB and WR supposed to be a couple of the easiest to replace positions with draft picks or FA’s?

  29. Joey Joe Joe Says:

    I don’t think they have any interest in Lenny. Jones was a much better runner according to grading, yards per carry and eye test. Lenny was a slightly better receiver from a drop standpoint (that’s not saying much), but his YAC and pass protection were awful. So the question is why would they keep Fournette. He’s not a good enough receiver for what they want, and he’s a worse runner than what they’ve got.

  30. lambeau Says:

    Nobody matches AB–I hope it works out eventually.
    LeGarrette Blunt was on McAfee yesterday saying he thinks all Le’Veon Bell needs is decent blocking. He’s only 29 and has great hands and vision. Vet minimum?

  31. Georger Says:

    I agree with cleanhouse. If you can’t sign Godwin to a long term contract, then trade him. You get a 1st and 16 million in cap space. I don’t want to rent him for one year. With the money sign AB for two years add depth and draft his replacement.

  32. Ben green Says:

    You wouldn’t have won with LF. Jones doesn’t impress me. Hurt easy, dime a dozen back. Fournette is a beast of a man, nobody wanted to tackle him last year. You won the superbowl because of running and play action not no risk it no biscuit. Brady would be dead if things hadn’t changed. RJ is just not the type of back this team needs, LF is.

  33. Oxycondoms Says:

    Both were add ons last year bucs can always do the same next year with other availabile players if need be no need to overpay

  34. Ash Says:

    Would like it if ab came back lenny can walk wouldn’t be heartbroken If neither signs but would really like ab to sign with tampa

  35. Bucanero Says:

    I like both of these guys but they can be replaced. Hopefully we get at least one of them back. There are options for receivers and RBs but in the draft and FA. Balance was the key word last season and we have an excess in TE position and lack enough RBs. We have to have the ability to pound the rock consistently. Can the Bucs let go OJ or Brate and keep Fournette? Decision time is here.

  36. HeyItsAdam Says:

    I want Lenny back. I freaking love that guy.

  37. Snook Says:

    It’s amazing how many Bucs fans still don’t know that Godwin is our slot receiver.

  38. Capt.Tim Says:

    Both are unique and very gifted athletes!
    Both have huge baggage.
    I very much would love to see both back.
    AB gives us an absolutely uncoverable trio of WRs
    All 3 are in the top 10 NFL receivers.
    If they make themselves unsignable- Jason” the Magician” Licht cant do anything about it.
    But Brady and Licht can find other guys.

  39. Joe Says:

    Whats AB’s biggest weakness as a player?

    The offseason.


  40. Cainishere Says:

    Replacing Lenny could be done but replacing arguably one of the greatest WR in the game to me would be impossible. AB is a key free agent to re-sign to the team. GO BUCS!!!

  41. Cobraboy Says:

    Fournette is a good RB. Brown is a great WR.

    For the Bucs, Brown > Fournette.

  42. TOM Says:

    Licht & Greenberg are in the driver’s seat. Wait them out.

  43. Hodad Says:

    This draft has loads of receiver talent, that’s why no one is shelling out big dollars to FA’s. This also bodes well for Tampa come draft time. With so many receivers going in the first someone real good is going to fall. The price for the AB’s out there will drop after the draft.

  44. Bkyrdbob Says:

    I don’t want AB on an incentive contract. If his pay is atatched to incentives we will see a million of those wr screens and hear him cry if he isn’t getting the ball.

  45. Bkyrdbob Says:

    To be clear, I do want AB on the team as long as it is a team friendly contract. The guy is still good. He just has never been the same since that dirty, illegal, borderline criminal hit Burlifict put on him. The guy is a prime candidate for CTE.

  46. David sheppard Says:

    Ab…5 million
    Lenny 4 million

    That’s 9 million And not overpaying.

  47. Ne+ bucs fan Says:

    Playoff Lenny coming back 1 year 3.25,4 with incentive

  48. Jake Says:

    This aged well