Free agent receiver Antonio Brown expects to be “back shortly.”
“Yeah, man, I’m ready to get out there and show people what I can do,” Brown told Mike Calta on 102.5 The Bone on Friday. “I’ve been missing for a couple months, so I’m excited, man, to get back, to get back to what I love and get back to doing what I like to do.”
Brown, 31, has been traded once and cut twice in the past year. He has played one game.
His only regular-season action over the past 15 months came with Tom Brady in New England. Brady, who befriended Brown during Brown’s brief time with the Patriots, signed with the Buccaneers on Friday.
Brown said he has texted with Brady.
“It’s not about me. It’s about him,” Brown said. “I’m just excited for him and his new team, new opportunity, to just see how well he can do. I know his leadership, his on-the-field play is second to none. So it’s all about Tom, man. I’m grateful for him. We both have our own situations. I’m just trying to do everything I can do to get stuff out the way, so I can get back to the field. I’m just excited for TB. He’s got a great opportunity. He’s one of my close friends.”
An NFL Media report indicated teams that spoke with Brady in recent days were under the impression that Brady wants Brown as part of his offense this year.
It seems unlikely: The Bucs already have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin; the Bucs have Bruce Arians — an assistant in Pittsburgh during Brown’s first two NFL seasons — as their head coach; and Brown still is the subject of multiple investigations under the Personal Conduct Policy, which seems likely to keep teams from signing him until resolved.
Still, Brown was asked on the radio about the possibility of playing in Tampa and said he thinks he has a “good relationship” with Arians.
“I’d be really grateful if I had the opportunity to play in Tampa Bay, to play anywhere,” Brown said. “Obviously to play with Tom Brady would be an extreme honor. You know his quality of leadership. You know the want to win. Anytime you can be around a guy like that, man, it’s an extreme honor. You know you’re going to have opportunity to do something exciting.”
When pressed for where he wants to play, Brown said “preferably with Tom.”
Brown had four catches for 56 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots’ 43-0 victory over the Dolphins last season. He hasn’t played since.