Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Are people forgetting how good Antonio Brown is?

Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Antonio Brown, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Antonio Brown enters training camp still as the number three wide receiver on the depth chart for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Is it possible that his talent is being overlooked, not by Buccaneers fans, but the NFL as a whole?

Now look. For starters in no way shape or form is this saying that AB is not “overrated” or that Bucs fans aren’t able to see what’s right in front of them. Just the opposite in fact. It seems that Buccaneers fans are the only ones that can see how underrated Brown has become.

Whenever the topic of the weapons Tom Brady has in his arsenal, Brown comes off as almost an afterthought. It’s seems like it’s always “Wow, Brady has a million running backs and tight ends including his BFF Rob Gronkowski and the best wide receiver duo in the NFL in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Oh yeah and AB is there too.”

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The fact of the matter is this. The NFL at large, and potentially your fantasy leagues, are in for a huge wake up call.

Now, obviously Brown is not quite the wide receiver he once was, but do you remember the player he once was? Here’s a guy (Chris Collinsworth voice) that has 886 catches for 11,746 yards and 79 touchdowns on his career. He’s had six 100-catch seasons including 129 in 2014, and 136 in 2015 which ranks third all-time. His 1,698 receiving yards in 2015 is good enough for the ninth best all-time, and his 2014 season, where he amassed 1,834 yards, is the fourth-most in NFL history. This seven-time Pro Bowler, and for time consecutive Al-Pro was at one time being compared to Jerry Rice as a route-runner.

So what gives? Well, the combination of off the field issues, whether they be alleged or confirmed, coupled with the whole snafu that was his brief stent with the Las Vegas Raiders, the bloom has certainly fallen off the AB rose at this point. The thing is though, after so much time off. Brown was never going to come in and light the world on fire right away, even with his biggest fan in Brady throwing in the ball and guiding him. However, once he wet the whistle a bit, he began to at least start to resemble the AB of old a bit.

In 2020 for the Super Bowl champion buccaneers, Brown was able to catch 45 balls for 483 yards and four touchdowns. For a “third“ option at receiver, those stats are remarkable, especially for one that only played in eight regular season games. That’s not even mentioning the fact that he had five catches for 22 yards and a touchdown in Super Bowl LV.

Now this isn’t saying that the AB of old is all the way back, but he is back nonetheless. He was making his usual toe-tapping sideline catches, and putting up blink-and-you-missed-them type numbers in 2020, and now has a full offseason to improve and get back to the swing of things.

The NFL will surely still have Brown overlooked a bit, which also means your fantasy league should too. Many mocks and ADPs have him going as far as in the double-digit rounds, and if you can snag him up there that is absolute highway robbery. Thanks to Antonio Brown, smiling all the way, the Buccaneers have yet another reason in their already overstocked cupboard to be excited for 2021, as should your fantasy team. Bucs fans already know and remember how good he is, and we’re just doing our part to give a heads up just in case.

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