Buccaneers: Potential Antonio Brown departure doesn’t hurt
By Rob Leeds
Could the Buccaneers lose Antonio Brown?
While Antonio Brown is technically a free agent, he is still the Buccaneers‘ player to lose. They have shot nearly 100% so far during this free agency period, and believing that they couldn’t make a future with Brown work is somewhat naive.
Even with his close friend, Tom Brady, on the roster, Brown and the Bucs are not close to reaching a deal, according to Mike Garafolo on Good Morning Football.
This was an expected outcome, but Tampa Bay doesn’t need to worry yet.
Antonio Brown is not the end-all for the Buccaneers
Brown was a part of a three-headed monster in the wide receiver room that was one of the best in the league’s history. The combination of Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin was a huge reason why the Bucs were able to make such a compelling offensive push during the playoffs.
The addition of Brown was also beneficial when Evans and Godwin struggled with injuries at crucial points. Fortunately, Tampa’s depth wouldn’t walk out the door with AB.
Brown may be the unquestionable best third receiver in the NFL, but that doesn’t mean that his role is irreplaceable. Scotty Miller and Tyler Johnson were excellent during the playoff push in limited roles. It would certainly be wishful thinking to expect that either could play at Brown’s level right now, but those two in the third spot would still keep the offense churning.
In addition to the other receivers, the Buccaneers also have O.J. Howard returning from injury and his prowess as a matchup nightmare against any defensive back in the league would mitigate the loss of Brown. Bruce Arians is no stranger to three tight end sets, even if one is lined up like a traditional receiver.
The added tight end presence will be a huge help, and the Buccaneers can also find extra pass-catchers in the draft, especially in running backs. This class has plenty of backs that can split reps between receiver and anything in the backfield, and these players could also get reps alongside Johnson and Miller with ease.
Losing Brown would still hurt, but the drop-off in production and saving some cap space would not be the end of the world. The Buccaneer and Tom Brady still have time to work some magic, but either way, this team is still well on its way to compete for a Super Bowl again in 2021.
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