Bruce Arians insists signing Antonio Brown was his idea: 'Tom had nothing to do with this'

Jason Owens
·1-min read

Bruce Arians said in March that Antonio Brown would not be signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

He wasn’t a good fit.

“Yeah, it’s not gonna happen,” the Bucs head coach told CBS Radio in March. “There’s no room. And probably not enough money. But it’s not gonna happen — it’s not a fit here.”

Something changed between March and October with the Bucs signing Brown to an incentive-laden deal on Friday. The deal was thought to be largely a product of Brown’s relationship with quarterback Tom Brady. The two played together briefly with the New England Patriots in 2019 before Brown was suspended and released amid a litany of off-field issues, including multiple sexual assault and sexual misconduct allegations.

Brady and Brown reportedly had a good relationship with the two keeping in contact during Brown’s eight-game league-imposed ban.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians (right) looks on as quarterback Tom Brady (left) warms up before a game Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Arians says that signing Antonio Brown was his idea, not Tom Brady's. (Kirby Lee/Reuters)

Bruce Arians claims credit for Antonio Brown deal

Now that the Brown deal is done, Arians is claiming credit for it, alongside general manager Jason Licht.

“Tom had nothing to do with this,” Arians told reporters Sunday, per the Tampa Bay Times. “This is something Jason and I have been talking about for some time.”

OK, then.

“Some time” must have started after his March statement. Credit or not, Brady is surely more than happy to reap the rewards of the deal. Brown will join an already talented receiving corps featuring Chris Godwin, Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski on an offense that’s catching fire as the season progresses.

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