2021 NFL Draft: Why Antonio Brown may not return to Buccaneers
By Rob Leeds
Antonio Brown’s last chance to join the Buccaneers is before the 2021 NFL Draft.
The chance for Antonio Brown to return to Tampa Bay is fading fast. With the draft only a few days away, the odds of this reunion occurring are becoming difficult to determine, but they aren’t high.
Brown was a great member of the team and was a big part of the success in the Super Bowl win versus the Chiefs, but waiting until after the 2021 NFL Draft to sign his deal with the Bucs will destroy his leverage and kill this deal before it gets off the ground.
With eight total picks and the potential to add more before the night is over, the Bucs will have numerous opportunities to add a top-tier wide receiver. With no glaring needs other than a clear-cut receiver to fill in at the third role, the Bucs could see the best use of their first-round pick being on a pass-catcher since they stand to see the field the most.
Players like Terrance Marshall Jr., Rondale Moore, Kadarius Toney, and many other will be available at the end of the first round where the Buccaneers have their first pick, but others pepper the mid-rounds as well that can start during their first season.
With so few needs on the roster, it seems difficult to imagine the Buccaneers making it through the first two days without a receiver coming off the board if Brown doesn’t sign his deal.
The clock is ticking, and it is actively working against AB. Waiting until after the draft could make matters much worse. If Tampa does invest a higher pick in a rookie, Brown’s best bet of seeing the field could be as the fourth option, and that doesn’t seem like a prospect that will make anyone happy.
If Brown truly wants to stay with the defending champs, his best bet to make this a reality is before Thursday. The front office seems committed to keeping Brown in Tampa, but they also seem set on their offering price. That number will only go down from here.
The next few days will be telling as to what Jason Licht and company will have to pull off on Thursday night, but for now, the Buccaneers should have plenty of receivers on their draft board.
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