Buccaneers Mum On Future For WR Antonio Brown & S Mike Edwards Following Suspension

According to Ian Rapoport, the Buccaneers have left the door open to potentially cut WR Antonio Brown and S Mike Edwards for possessing fake vaccine cards. 

Mike Edwards

Brown and Edwards were each suspended three games for COVID-19 protocol violations and the league initially considered much stronger action. Buccaneers HC Bruce Arians said this past week that they would address their future after their suspensions are over. 

A source echoed the same thing to Rapoport, while another insinuated it’s possible the team decides to move on from the two players after their serious breach in conduct. 

Brown and Edwards are both key players for Tampa Bay when healthy, which will obviously factor into the decision. Last year, Arians said Brown would have an incredibly short leash with the team but he’s since proven to be one of QB Tom Brady‘s favorite targets. 

Possessing fake vaccine cards is also a federal crime so it’s possible Brown and Edwards could face more discipline. 

Last month, Brown’s former live-in chef, Steven Ruiz, claimed the receiver obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccination card so he could avoid NFL protocols.

Brown’s girlfriend, Cydney Moreau, told Ruiz in a text message this past July that Brown was willing to pay $500 for a Johnson & Johnson vaccination card. Ruiz says that Brown wanted Johnson & Johnson vaccine card because it consists of a single shot and would require less paperwork.

Ruiz said he was unable to get Brown a fake vaccination card. A few weeks later, Ruiz claims Brown showed him fake vaccination cards that he purchased for himself and Moreau.

Tom Brady‘s personal trainer, Alex Guerrero later stopped by Brown’s house the same night to help with Brown’s rehab from a knee injury and took a photograph of Brown’s vaccination card while he was there. The Bucs allowed Guerrero and others to take photos of cards and send them to head trainer Bobby Slater and eventually to their infection control officer.

Ruiz mentioned that he believes Guerrero was unaware that the card was fake.

Brown and Ruiz reportedly had a falling out over an uncollected debt of $10,000.

Brown, 33, is a former sixth-round pick of the Steelers back in 2010. He was in the third year of his five-year, $72.71 million contract when the Steelers traded him to the Raiders back in March. 

The Raiders later signed Brown to a new contract worth $50.125 million and includes $30.125 million guaranteed. However, Oakland made the decision to release Brown before the start of the season and he later signed a one-year deal worth up to $15 million with the Patriots.

Brown lasted just 11 days in New England. The Buccaneers signed him to a one-year deal worth up to $2.5 million last year and re-signed him to another one-year extension this offseason. 

In 2021, Brown has appeared in five games and recorded 29 receptions for 418 yards (14.4 YPC) and four touchdowns. 

Edwards, 25, was the No. 99 overall pick in the third round by the Buccaneers out of Kentucky in 2019. He’s in the third year of a four-year, $3,342,172 rookie contract that included an $822,172 signing bonus. 

In 2021, Edwards has appeared in 11 games for the Buccaneers and recorded 35 total tackles, one forced fumble, three interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns, and seven pass deflections. 

We’ll have more on Brown and Edwards as the news is available. 

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