CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes Buccaneers QB Tom Brady was the driving force behind Tampa Bay signing WR Antonio Brown after several people in the organization vowed publicly and privately that Brown would never join the team.
Per La Canfora, Brown chose Tampa Bay over similar offers from the Seahawks and others. No one was offering him more than the veteran minimum with some incentives.
Other executives who have worked closely with Brown in the past have serious doubts about the mercurial receiver’s ability to not be a problem, especially with the increased restrictions on players due to the COVID-19 protocols: “Mark my words, it’s going to be a problem. I give it a week to 10 days before he’s late for the COVID test or doesn’t totally follow protocol. You have no idea the stories we could tell you about this guy. Everything is a struggle.”
Jay Glazer of FOX reported Sunday that Bruce Arians‘ message to Brown made it clear: “Be a team player, or be gone.”
Following Sunday’s game, Arians was asked about adding Brown and said it was “an insurance policy,” noting the injuries to their receivers corps: “I believe he’s matured. I believe in second chances.” (Jeff Darlington)
Arians maintains that Tom Brady had “nothing to do” with them signing Brown: “Tom had nothing to do with this. This is something Jason (Licht) and I have been talking about for some time.” (Rick Stroud)
Regarding the allegations from women against Brown, Arians said: “Let the court system do its job.If it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.” (Greg Auman)
Arians admitted that they didn’t view Brown as a fit this spring, but now thinks he’s matured: “I think he’s matured. I believe in second chances. Everybody wants to say Tom picked him. Tom didn’t have anything to do with it.” (Greg Auman)
Brady said of signing Brown: “He’s a tremendous football player. I played with him for a brief period of time. I’m looking forward to working with him again. He’s a very hard-working guy.” (Greg Auman)
ESPN’s David Newton says Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey has a shot to play Thursday against the Falcons but the team won’t rush him back unless he’s 100 percent.
If he doesn’t play Thursday, Newton adds McCaffrey would likely come back in Week 9 against the Chiefs.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Saints WR Michael Thomas has a Grade I hamstring strain that could keep him out one to two weeks.
Thomas is already missing Week 7 against the Panthers and could also be out for Week 8 against the Bears.