The Tampa Bay Buccaneers retained everyone from their 22-man starting Super Bowl squad, except for one notable big-name reserve.
Star wideout Antonio Brown is the only man on the list of Bucs free agents left to re-sign. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports that Tampa Bay wants him back, but Brown isn’t necessarily budging on his asking price to return next season.
Garafolo said the Bucs and Brown spoke about “a possible return this week, including money, but noted ‘they’re not close right now’ in terms of the financial situation.
“They want to bring him back, the Bucs do, just at a different number than he has in mind right now,” the article states.
Brown played in eight regular season games last year, generating 45 catches for 483 yards and four TDs. The 32-year-old wideout added eight catches for 81 yards and two scores in three postseason games played with the Bucs. He earned $2 million for his half-season in 2020.
Garafolo said the Buccaneers want to bring Brown back but at a price closer to market value.
Brown still has “lingering legal issues hanging overhead that likely won’t be resolved in the short term,” and “the NFL has said it reserves the right to suspend Brown again if any new information in the lawsuit comes to light,” the article reads.
Although the Buccaneers may have their money tied up in fellow receivers Mike Evans — with nearly $16.7 million toward the cap — and Chris Godwin, who is playing on an almost $17 million franchise tag, Tampa Bay is likely waiting to see whether Brown gets any other offers.
Garafolo said the Bucs aren’t the only team that has checked in on Brown. The wideout has received interest from other teams but no clubs have yet offered deals.