Now that Antonio Brown has settled the civil lawsuit filed against him by Britney Taylor, the two remaining questions are obvious: Does this open the door for a return to the Bucs? Or will more NFL teams be interested in the former All-Pro receiver?
Brown’s settlement is a big step in the right direction when it comes to a Tampa Bay return or finding a new home in the NFL. Taylor and Brown were both scheduled to go to court in December 2021. But the key -in regard to Brown’s NFL career- was the fact that the NFL left open the possibility of additional discipline against Brown if new evidence arose in the pending lawsuit.
The NFL suspended Brown the first eight games of this season for two unrelated incidents, but left open the possibility of additional discipline if new evidence arises in the civil case, in which a woman accused Brown of rape and sexual assault. Brown has denied the allegations.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) December 1, 2020
While potential discipline would have been reserved until December, said potential means a lot to a team like the Bucs, who are looking to repeat as Super Bowl champions. You can make the same argument for any team with postseason aspirations. It’s hard to blame them for looking elsewhere until more closure was achieved.
Recent reports have suggested the issue between the Bucs and Brown is money. So, it doesn’t seem like this development will increase the odds of a reunion.
Jason Licht even offered some insight on the situation during his Wednesday press conference.
“We’ve had discussions throughout the offseason and you can tell we’ve put an emphasis on bringing back our players from last year that contributed to our success, and he would be no different,” Licht told reporters. “So, we’ll continue to have talks and see where it goes.”
He later added, “To have this result certainly helps, but that’s not necessarily the deciding factor of whether or not were going to continue to talk.”
However, nothing but speculation surrounds what seems to be the NFL’s limited interest in Brown. Only the Seattle Seahawks and Baltimore Ravens have been reported/named as teams interested in Brown. It’s not dumb to think that Brown’s unknown future could’ve played a role in the shortcomings on the open market.
Wednesday’s news could change all of that.
Will more teams be interested now that Brown’s future is (currently) clear? Only time will tell, but there’s one thing that is certain: Time is running out for Brown and the Bucs.