Chris Simms: Bucs Likely Not Sweating Over Antonio Brown

April 7th, 2021

Former Bucs QB explains.

Every day that goes by seems to be a game of chicken between the Bucs and furniture-tossing, bicycle-throwing free agent receiver Antonio Brown.

Brown has taken to social media saying he wants to come back. His teammates have responded on social media saying they want him back. Bucs Super Bowl-winning coach Bucco Bruce Arians did not deny he was good with Brown coming back.

But yet, there Brown walks up and down the sidewalk looking for work.

Recently, the creator, curator and overall guru of Pro Football Talk, the great Mike Florio, said he believes the Bucs have multiple offers they have given to Brown, “You choose from this menu but the menu isn’t changing.” And so Brown paces wanting more money and the Bucs seemingly sit back in a cushy Team Glazer office chair daring Brown to sit out the season if he doesn’t like their offer.

With April’s first week gone, Brown isn’t exactly a hot commodity throughout the league, otherwise, he likely would have signed with someone by now.

Former Bucs quarterback Chris Simms seems to agree with Florio and believes the Bucs aren’t losing any sleep with Brown unsigned, and probably won’t lose any sleep if he signs elsewhere.

“I don’t think this is something like the Buccaneers are going to fret about and be like, ‘Oh man, our team is not the same without Antonio Brown.'”

But isn’t this a false narrative? Joe doesn’t buy this idea the Bucs won’t miss Brown. Remember, the Bucs are 8-3 with Brown, though Brown missed much of the New Orleans playoff game and all of the Green Bay NFC title game with a bum knee.

Joe doesn’t think anyone would argue the Bucs played their best ball of last season with Brown — not without him.

Joe’s not saying the Bucs are rotten without Brown but when he got into game shape, he was a weapon. He had the fourth-most targets (62) on the roster during the regular season — and most per games played — despite joining the team halfway through the season. Compare that to the Bucs’ No. 3 receiver in 2019, Breshad Perriman, who had 69 targets in 14 games.

So Brown was a key player on the Super Bowl-winning team.

Joe understands this game of chicken is about cash. If the Bucs had the extra Team Glazer loot, Brown would be re-signed. But let’s not sit here and dismiss Brown like he’s the second coming of Maurice Stovall or something.

41 Responses to “Chris Simms: Bucs Likely Not Sweating Over Antonio Brown”

  1. bucsfan4life Says:

    Joe, completely agree. When you have a No.3 WR that has the potential to play like a No. 1, thats not just depth but differential depth compared to most other teams in the league. Not the end of the world if he signs elsewhere, but definitely a big hit. Let’s hope he resigns. What ever happened to ME restructuring his deal to free up some more cash? I don’t think a 4 million/1 year offer instead of 2 mill and have half of that be incentive driven.

    And yes, AB can be a hot mess but not with Tom. I, along with I think this entire fan base and organization, trusts Tom. It should scream volumes that Tom has wanted AB with him both here and in NE and went out on a limb for him. Doesn’t do that for just any scrub.

  2. Bird Says:

    I read something the other day that bucs are only 800,000 under cap

    So they would need to free up around 10 mil to sign draft picks and AB
    Unless they trade back into second it would be a little less

    I think he is back for something around fournette deal 3 – 3.25 with incentives up to 4 or maybe 5 mil

  3. adam from ny Says:

    maybe the bucs are hoping for a minor flippage by AB while away from tom and tony robbinski, so they can sign him for like $16.99 per game…

    one rock…one chair…one bike…one smackeroonie late night at the local dennys…

    one something and he’s playing for the price of a carvel birthday cake with those tasty little chocolate crumbs inside!

  4. Alanbucsfan Says:

    If no team panics after the draft and offers AB a crazy contract, likely AB accepts a Bucs’ offer.

  5. Game film doesn't lie Says:

    Lets be real. If it was AB without the pending legal troubles it’s a no brainer signing. When cash is tight, you don’t pay too much $ for someone who may not play.
    Talent wise AB has #1 ability no question. With the chance he gets suspended in Dec right before the playoffs, I think it’s another Veteran minimum with incentive deal based on playing the full season. Bonus voided if suspended

  6. adam from ny Says:

    but seriously tho…

    when the big 3 receivers are in the game together with tom at qb…

    there’s nothing the other team can do but get picked apart…no matter how solid their secondary is…AB pushes the wide receiver corps over the top

  7. adam from ny Says:


    gotta rework jensen and another dude…

    free up the gee up

  8. Tye Says:

    AB just isn’t a make or break the season type of player… Scotty Miller and Johnson will only benefit greatly by getting more reps with the absents of AB… Get more depth at another position with that spot!


    I still don’t get the allure of signing Fournett over Brown. I would rather of seen more of Rojo in 2021 and if Rojo goes off and Lenny has to sit, Brown maybe the least of Bucs problems. I am also concerned about no comment from Brady. If that’s his man where is the love? Simms would of wet his girdle pads if he ever had a receiver as good as AB.

  10. DoooshLaRue Says:

    There’s cash to be freed up and that cash is on the OL.

  11. 813bucboi Says:

    sign AB…plain and simple…

    injuries always happen….and im sure ME13 will have a bum hammy coming out of TC….

    GO BUCS!!!!

  12. Cobraboy Says:

    The Bucs like Brown, the Bucs cap does not.

  13. Beeej Says:

    They wouldn’t be pushing him a low-ball offer without BA signing off on it. My guess now is it he signs it, he’ll carry an attitude all year. If he keeps it together, will be a tell

  14. Winny Testaverde Says:

    The last of the Big 8 likely will have to wait. It will be disappointing if the Seahawks sign him…although that’s a shaky situation in Seattle & Wilson these days. I’m not sure the Bucs want to extend Jensen…wouldn’t be surprised if they try to draft his replacement this year. I like his fire and how he bullied/punked the Saints in the playoff game, however.

  15. Bobby M. Says:

    I’m guessing Brown wants guarantees……Bucs will only pay him on a per game basis with bonuses….so he’ll sit out past preseason in order to not risk injury. I believe once he gets one regular season game in, his base contract is then guaranteed for injury or being cut.

    Strategically not a bad move for either side…..he’s proven he can be productive, everyone knows he’ll be in shape and he already knows the offense. For Brown, if by chance somebody goes down early, another team may pony up the guarantees needed to get him in.

  16. ClodHopper Says:

    The Bucs have all the leverage and he’s coming off as desperate. The Bucs own the waiting game right now.

  17. Waterboy Says:

    Bucs may wait till after the draft to possibly up their offer to Brown and may have actually told him this. Based on how draft goes, Bucs could choose to let a veteran go which would free up more money under the Cap. There are several other teams that will have this option so it would make sense for Brown to sit tight. Not all teams who want an impact WR will end up drafting one and thus Browns value will go up right after the draft. At that point, he decides if he wants more $$ or wants to rejoin the band for what the Bucs are offering!

  18. Robert Says:

    Nice take Bobby M….never considered that.

  19. jimm Says:

    maybe the brady family is not ready for a longterm house guest and that plays into the risk

  20. David Says:

    I agree they are better with him, he is a dynamic weapon. You could see it as the year went on and he got more comfortable in in better shape.
    They just have a good receiving corps, especially when you include the TEs. They have good RBs. He’s just not a necessity and they only have so much money.
    I would love for him to come back. If he does not, I am equally excited to see Johnson get more and more opportunities

  21. gotbbucs Says:

    If he signs, fine.

    If he doesn’t sign, fine.

    I get it, he’s a top tier talent in the league, but he always thinks he’s bigger than the team.

    He made it through last year with only throwing one bicycle at a guard shack in a childish fit of rage. Maybe this offseason he’ll get back into throwing rocks at moving vans.

    This team has other legitimate super stars that took pay cuts and signed for less money to stay on this team. Meanwhile, this locker room took this guy in when no other organizations would and they brought him along for the ride. Did he help the cause? Yes, by all means, but this guy has no loyalty for what others try to do for him.

  22. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bobby M: I’m not sure that’s how NFL contracts work.

    A player hurt in pre-season, say a season-ending injury, will get his full game $$$ until, at a minimum, he is cleared by the team physicians.

  23. Bucanero Says:

    Back in the day my football coach use to say “everyone is important but no one is indispensable” I think it was a rip off of some NFL coach. I like AB but this is getting boring. It could be very disruptive to have an insurance that may be gone in December. His legal issues are a big concern and despite of that the Bucs have made an offer. It is not so much the ticking bomb side of AB that worries but the fact that he may be suspended come the playoffs. Bucs need insurance on insurance. Antonio needs to understand that more important that the number is the fact that this organization is willing to carry him despite off his issues and potential liabilities. It makes for some special football that is fun to watch. He needs one more year of discipline and success to ask for 10 million a year.

  24. Cobraboy Says:

    The team is far more dangerous on offense with Brown than without Brown. He is a proven top-tier WR commodity with few peers.

    Certainly, December court issues would have an effect on him, and therefore the team. No doubt Brown’s legal team is working to figure out a plan that nullifies the court appearances. I would not be surprised at a financial settlement, and who knows? Maybe that is a condition the Bucs mgt. requires.

    If I had to bet, that is where the difference in the parties’ positions lies.

    I suspect the impass is more complex than just cheese.

  25. Cobraboy Says:

    @Bucanero: your coach is repeating a false bromide in that some players are, in fact, indispensable.

    A football team is a lot like Animal Farm: All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

  26. Miller5252 Says:

    Brown is another piece that makes the Bucs better on offense. He’s got a lot of experience, has done a lot of good helping the guys know what to do to become a winner and has the speed and skill to require attention while on the field. Now saying all that, one little attitude problem or issue in the locker room he needs to be gone. But no one out there or on the team can fill his role 100%, so it would be a loss.

  27. DoooshLaRue Says:


    How many Nietzsche books do you have in your vast library?

  28. Bucanero Says:

    @Cobraboy Yeah if Brady is in your team but not in my high school varsity football team where everyone was truly dispensable. It’s just incredible that Belicheat thought he could replace Brady with Jimmy “unavailable” G. A leader like Brady is truly indispensable and we are so lucky to have him. The moment I heard he may become available I started dreaming about having him in Tampa and the change of culture that would accomplish even if nothing else happened. Oh boy what a sweet ride it has been. Aside from Brady I don’t think anyone has that status and they brought the whole band together including an offer for AB.

  29. David Says:

    I just have the need to say this… GMFB is such a fantastic show. It’s knowledgeable but light and fun. They all really know their stuff and they talk about it and discuss it without the yelling and screaming contentious, obnoxious nature of other shows.
    ….. and Kay Adams…. damn

  30. ModHairKen Says:

    It’s real simple: There is no market for AB. It is return here or sit at home. So why offer him more? Of course, they will be worse without him. And he will be worse without the Bucs.

    So take the contract and get to work. Or don’t. 2021 is happening either way.

  31. Cobraboy Says:

    @Doosh: I have a Kindle full of books, not just Nietzsche, but a ton of others.

    I’d rather read brain food than junk food. Think Keto for the noggin, instead of sugar and carbs.

    That said, I do agree with Nietzsche in one area that we, as a culture & Western society is going through today: the killing God brings with it the rejection a universal moral law, which results in existential nihilism…a philosophy he (and I) detest. The Slave Mentality is what devices culture, and historically has been a major cause of civil and cultural wars. We see that today between those who are comfortable as gubmint serfs and those who crave freedom from tyrants.

    (End of philosophical rant.)

    (I love the Big Uglies. Draft a bunch, Jason. Don’t need pretty boys if your lines are big and nasty.)

  32. daniel Da Man Says:

    My wife iust ran off with my best friend _ and man do i miss him.
    AB will be missed more than the wife. But it’s his decision to go or stay. Will he stay and catch passes or go and toss chairs?

  33. Bucsfanman Says:

    The Bucs don’t “need” AB. Absolutely, yes, they are better with him.

  34. Eddie Says:

    Sign him. Don’t give me that # 3 receiver jive. He’s a # 1 playing on a great team.

  35. HeyItsAdam Says:

    Brown’s mistake wasn’t not being the 1st person to sign as opposed to the 8th. Now he’s the last one at the table and stuck with the scraps after other players cashed in already.

    But I’d rather miss out on AB and lock up Godwin for a stretch w/ the money offered.

  36. Cobraboy Says:

    @HeyItsAdam: I’d be surprised if Brown was near the top of the “Big 8” list, so he might not have had a chance to sign early.

  37. HeyItsAdam Says:

    ^^^ I would have been banging down Licht’s door. “I want back in, let’s get it done.” You gotta act like you want the job more than the next guy.

  38. Jason Says:

    8-3 with him, 6-2 without him. Eh. Honestly, I’d love more reps for Tyler Johnson and Scottie Miller. I think Johnson has some Chris Godwin in him and was coming on when Brown entered the scene and took everybody’s targets.

  39. MarkV Says:

    So that would make the Bucs 6-2 without him Joe? Hardly a big drop off…

  40. stpetebucsfan Says:

    I love ME13 and CG14. They can get the job done. ME is not that far from an HOF career especially if the Bucs win one more SB.

    But AB is a special talent there is no doubt. He IS the most “talented” WR on the team. But on a team that is LOADED with targets and even depth at TE and WR AB has become a very expensive luxury item.

    I want AB back but as the saying goes people in Hell want ice water. if they can do it great…as Koetter used to say you can never have enough good players and in thiscase we’re talking a great player…still the $$$.

  41. David Says:

    Well…. Devon White is on Instagram calling out AB saying
    “we are waiting on you.”
    Another post from someone else on Instagram said AB is about to accept an offer from the Buccaneers.
    It’s the only place I have seen that though, I don’t even know who said it, so take it with a grain of salt