Tom Brady said he excited to reunite with former New England Patriots team-mate Antonio Brown at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Brown has reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the Buccaneers after the All-Pro wide receiver was released by the Patriots in September last year amid sexual assault allegations he denied.
The seven-time Pro Bowler has been banned for eight games due to “multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy”, and he will not be eligible to return until Week 9.
Brown only made one appearance for the Patriots, having been previously released by the Las Vegas Raiders, recording 56 yards and a touchdown as he briefly teamed up with Brady.
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 25, 2020
Brady has since joined the Buccaneers – who he has guided to a 5-2 record this season – and the six-time Super Bowl champion is relishing the opportunity to work with Brown again.
“He’s a tremendous football player. I played with him for a brief period of time. Looking forward to working with him again, to see what role he can come in [and play],” Brady told reporters after completing 33 of 45 passes for 369 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-20 win against the Raiders, while he moved top of the NFL’s all-time list for TD passes.
“He’s a very hard-working guy … We’re all gonna go out there on the practice field and do the best we can do. And we’re gonna see how it all fits together. There’s a lot of hard work ahead. None of it just magically happens. I think we realised that early in the season, we put a lot of new people together, and we’ve gotta figure a lot of things out in a short period of time.
“We’re fighting against continuity of a lot of other teams, a lot of other coaches. Bruce has had tremendous patience with me, watching me grow in the offense. I totally appreciate that and respect that and feel like I’m getting to a more comfortable place.”
Having entered the league with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010, Brown has amassed 11,263 receiving yards and caught 75 touchdowns in his career.
WE LIKE THAT ‼️ pic.twitter.com/5HSIeIv7c4
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) October 26, 2020
Bruce Arians previously said Brown “was not a fit” for the Buccaneers and when asked about the change in stance regarding the 32-year-old, the Tampa Bay head coach told reporters: “I think he’s matured, and I believe in second chances.
“Everybody wants to say that Tom picked him. Tom didn’t have anything to do with it. This was something Jason [Licht, Buccaneers general manager] and I had been talking [about] for a couple weeks, ever since the injuries to our other guys.
“When the time was right, would we see if we could pull the trigger and fit him in to what we want to get done? And we’ll see. If Antonio does what I think he’s gonna do, I think he’s gonna be fine.”