Tom Brady appears to have stuck his neck out for Antonio Brown, and it’s not a good look.
The Buccaneers on Saturday reportedly finalized a one-year contract with Brown, bringing the free-agent wideout to join Brady in Tampa Bay. Brown will have the opportunity to play one week after the conclusion of his eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy.
The decision looks bad.
It looks bad on the Tampa Bay organization for a team who is already loaded with talent. But it perhaps looks even worse for Brady, who reportedly was the “driving force” in the Buccaneers making the decision.
Tampa Bay head coach Bruce Arians was adamant Brown wouldn’t play for the Buccaneers in March, even having called Brown a “diva.” The two spent time together with the Pittsburgh Steelers when Arians was the offensive coordinator, a breakup that didn’t end all too well.
But Brady seemingly had more pull than he has had prior.
“Maybe one day I will be an owner and I can make all the decisions that I want,” Brady told Westwood One’s Jim Gray last season after the Patriots released Brown, as transcribed by Boston.com’s Hayden Bird.
Guess Brady didn’t even need to become an owner, just go somewhere where someone not named Bill Belichick makes personnel decisions.
Brady’s infatuation with Brown is puzzling, too.
Brown has been accused of rape twice, assaulted a moving truck driver within the past year and had his character called into question extensively, the most of which you’ve heard and was detailed in a Sports Illustrated story last September. But none of that was even the reason why he was cut in New England — that was after he sent threatening text messages to a woman about both the woman and her child.
And arguably the least harmful thing Brown took part in — publicly insulting Patriots owner Robert Kraft, a “second father” to Brady — still was not enough to keep the quarterback away.
All this for what? Because Brady and Brown connected on four receptions for 50-plus yards and one touchdown in their lone game together? Because they put together practices which led many to marvel at? Because they played house in Brookline once or twice during Brown’s 11 days in New England?
It’s just bizarre Brady, seemingly a consummate professional during his 20 years in New England, is willing to attach his name to a 32-year-old four-time All-Pro, who was traded once and released by two different teams. Three teams wanted Brown out of their building because of the off-field issues.
And now, more likely than not, Brady will learn the hard way. It’s not a good look.