5. The biggest surprise for the Buccaneers
Antonio Brown’s name could get much higher on this list depending on Chris Godwin. In a perfect world, the Bucs can keep Godwin and Brown to round out the best receiving trio in NFL history, but as mentioned, it will be hard to keep Godwin.
While Brown should be a priority even if Godwin stays, his importance goes way up if Godwin departs.
Given his history and relationship with Tom Brady, Brown could return to Tampa on a very cheap contract in 2021. The time after Brady will be a much bigger uncertainty, but the Bucs should keep him until Brady retires as he continues to reform his image.
During half of a season as a Buccaneer, Brown was largely able to stay out of the spotlight for the wrong reasons. Brown was quiet off the field and turned a corner as the “diva” that everyone knew him as. Brown was also as successful as ever on the field, and his chemistry with Brady is hard to recreate.
The Buccaneers need to keep Antonio Brown if he is willing to maintain a contract that is close to his current one, but if he decides that he wants to take the risk of leaving, the Bucs still have a great receiver room with outstanding youth to build around.