The Buccaneers have two weeks to decide whether to keep or to cut receiver Antonio Brown. In 14 days, he returns from the three-game suspension imposed on him for giving the team, and in turn the league, a fake vaccination card.
On Sunday, PFT reported that the Bucs are indeed considering the possibility of parting ways with Brown.
If Brown were a bottom-of-the-roster player, he’d already be gone. Since he’s regarded as an important piece of the offense (the Bucs are 5-0 this year when he plays), it becomes difficult for a team that hopes to win the Super Bowl to voluntarily jettison a player with the skill to help them get there.
On the other side of the ledger is the fact that Brown’s antics endangered people like coach Bruce Arians and 83-year-old offensive consultant Tom Moore. Arians is a three-time cancer survivor. Moore falls squarely into the segment of society most vulnerable to the worst possible outcome.
Consider this. As noted by Peter King in the latest Football Morning in America column, Greg Auman of the TheAthletic.com noticed an interesting comment in Lars Anderson’s book about the 2020 Bucs, A Season in the Sun: “If any of you make me or Tom Moore sick, I have a gun and I will shoot you in the kneecaps.” And even if Arians, who made it clear when Brown was signed that he was on a clear one-strike arrangement, is inclined to look the other way, there’s a good chance Arians has been hearing it and will continue to keep hearing it from his family as to the reckless and selfish actions of Brown.
Quarterback Tom Brady, who faced the media for the first time since Brown was suspended, didn’t comment on the fact that Brown lied about his vaccination status and endangered people like Arians and Moore. Instead, Brady views the situation as no different than a guy missing time due to injury.
“I’m thinking about what I’ve got to do to help the team win,” Brady told reporters. “You know, different guys go down from injuries and so forth, and whether guys are out there or not, you know, I’ve got to do the best I can do. So just that’s what I’m going to do, be the best quarterback I can be.”
Brady’s got one objective. To win. To win games and ultimately the Super Bowl. If he has a vote, they won’t be cutting Antonio Brown. With the Buccaneers organization so intent as a business proposition on keeping Brady around for as long as possible, Brady ultimately may have the controlling vote when the ballots are counted two weeks from today.