TAMPA, Fla. — Antonio Brown officially signed his contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Tuesday morning, sources told ESPN. It is a one-year deal for a base salary of $750,000 with incentives that could push the value to $2.5 million, sources told ESPN on Sunday.
He can earn $750,000 if the Buccaneers win the Super Bowl and has three $250,000 incentives for 45 receptions, 650 yards and six touchdowns during the regular season. For Brown to earn the individual incentives, the Buccaneers must make the playoffs, the source told ESPN.
Brown will not be eligible for reinstatement or be able to start practicing with the Bucs until his suspension concludes after Week 8, but the team does plan to have him participate in meetings and meet with the strength staff once he clears COVID-19 testing protocol this week.
The expectation is that Brown will make his debut in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints.
“Certainly I’m happy for Antonio to get an opportunity to resume his career,” Buccaneers QB Tom Brady said in a Westwood One radio interview Monday night. “He’s put a lot of time and energy into working on a lot of things in his life, and I know he’s excited to play football. So everyone’s gonna earn a role on our team, and I know that’s his mindset too. We’ll see how things come together as we get into our game-planning [and] we get into the second half of our season and he’s available.”
The Bucs have emphasized Brown will be on a tight leash. He is currently in Week 7 of an eight-week suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy and he is still under probation for felony burglary with battery charges for the next two years, which requires a psychological evaluation, follow-up treatment, 100 hours of community service and attending an anger management course.
Brown still faces a civil suit by his former trainer, who alleges that Brown assaulted her on three separate occasions from 2017 to 2018. A trial is set for Dec. 14-18, a source told ESPN.
On Sunday, Bucs coach Bruce Arians said that he is going to “let the court system handle it” and “if it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.” If the court rules in favor of the trainer and the Bucs do cut him, he could potentially see action in five games — Tampa Bay has its bye week in Week 13.
Brown and his legal counsel face an Oct. 31 deadline for the discovery process. They must provide information from his electronic devices where the trainer is mentioned or discussed. If Brown fails to provide this, she and her attorney will ask for sanctions.
Brady said that he does not feel like he’s putting his reputation on the line by sticking his neck out for Brown.
“No. He’s his own individual,” Brady told Westwood One. “Everybody has the opportunity in life, and I’m just happy that he’s got another opportunity to play in the NFL. … I love playing football. I know he does too. He’s joining a group of guys who are extremely hardworking, extremely selfless. … And any time you can add another player to that mix, certainly of Antonio’s caliber, it’s only gonna help all of us grow, be better. I’m excited to get on the practice field and see what we can make of it.”