Bruce Arians: Bringing back Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards is in “the best interests of the team”

Miami Dolphins v Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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In all of sports, excuses are made for the stars and examples are made of the scrubs. That concept will once again play out in Tampa Bay.

If receiver Antonio Brown and/or safety Mike Edwards stunk, they’d already be gone. They don’t stink. More importantly, after a rash of injuries on Sunday night, the Buccaneers need them. The Bucs, with receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin now injured and pass-catching tailback Leonard Fournette also banged up, need Brown to run routes and catch passes. Thus, the franchise will let bygones be bygones.

During Sunday night’s pregame show on the team’s flagship radio network, G.M. Jason Licht announced that Brown and Edwards, whose three-game suspensions for falsifying vaccination cards expired after last night’s game, will be reinstated. After the 9-0, injury-riddled loss to the Saints, coach Bruce Arians explained the decision.

“It was in the best interests of our football team,” Arians told reporters. “Both those guys have served their time and we welcome them back.”

That’s a far cry from Arians telling Peter King 14 months ago that, if Brown screws up one time, he’ll be gone. Brown committed fraud on the COVID protocols in order to enjoy the benefits of being vaccinated without actually being vaccinated. He put Arians, a three-time cancer survivor, and 83-year-old offensive assistant Tom Moore, at risk.

Arians has yet to reconcile his current words with his past ones. He wasn’t pressed last night for an explanation, and he likely won’t be. If he ever is, his face will likely turn the color of whatever shirt he’s wearing that day, and whoever asks the question will become persona non grata in the Tampa Bay press corps.

There’s nothing to reconcile. Last October, Brown’s value to the team wasn’t clear. Now, especially with last night’s injuries. it is. He’s not going anywhere. That’s how it works, for every team in every sport, at every level.

Indeed, to the extent that the team was considering putting him on ice for the rest of the regular season in order to keep him from reaching some high-dollar incentives, that likely won’t happen either. Last night’s no-point output creates an all-hands urgency to get wins.

85 responses to “Bruce Arians: Bringing back Antonio Brown, Mike Edwards is in “the best interests of the team”

  1. Now that he doesn’t have Belichick to hide his deficiencies especially at his age, Arians knows Brady needs some receivers with talent so Brady can pretend that he’s a better QB than Taysom Hill.

    Sure didn’t have that last night and you saw the result. 🤔

  2. Any NFL coach/GM: If [insert player name] screws up one more time they are gone. Unless we can’t win without them, then all sins are forgiven and we will welcome them back with open arms.”

  3. Aka theyre good football players who consistently make horrible decisions but all is forgiven if you have talent

  4. Why do we insist on latching on to words coaches make, much less to words that were said a year ago. Who cares? That’s how Arians felt at the time. That was prior to him winning a Super Bowl and realizing Brown’s value to the team.

    Let me ask a question….your child wants to get a dog and begs/pleads with you to them a dog. This is even though they know you don’t like pets in the house. You say…okay, I’ll get you the dog, but “if he pees in the house one time we will get rid of it.” The child goes above and beyond to ensure that doesn’t happen and walks the dog consistently (day and night) for a year. The dog — you didn’t want — even learns to get you the newspaper from the front yard (pretend it’s 1980). But one day the dog pees on the carpet.

    Do you then decide you’re gonna “honor your word” to make a point? Even if it means hurting your child (or your Super Bowl) chances? That would be just plain stupid. Arians said what he had to say a year ago to get Antonio Brown (and the fans) onboard with the decision to bring him onto the team. Arians now has the right to change his mind when his team needs Brown the most. Period.

  5. Hilarious, had anyone stepped up last night, maybe you could can them. But it’s clear their liars are very important.

  6. I said what I said and I will stand by it, until I change my mind. Or ” move on there’s no story here”.

  7. These guys are turning out to be the lamest “champions” we’ve seen in some time. Most people will forget about the pandemic season anyway.

  8. Cash is king, and winning solves everything. What’s there to be surprised about for this? Talented players who break the criminal law always get 2nd and 3rd chances, Brown just faked a vaccine card. In the grand scheme of things, that’s not all that bad. Hence, he was always coming back to the team.

  9. Great show of integrity from players involved,coach,team management,and league. How to lose respect 101.

  10. The actual interpretation is: Tom says bring them both back you lump or we have no chance of winning. I don’t care if you had cancer I want to win now. I run this team you are just a puppet along for the ride.

  11. What in the past two weeks would convince an unvaccinated person to now get the shot? Is it the massive outbreaks among entirely vaccinated pro sports leagues?

  12. So coach Ariens would rather go back on his word and allow this mal content degenerate AB stay on the team regardless of what laws or rules he brakes ?? Fine example for kids to look up to !!!

  13. Like anyone is surprised? I’ve never understood the love affair with Arians. He’s a really good coach, but he’s always been a weasel…even by NFL coach standards. This kind of a move is par for the course for him. I still remember what he said in a pre-game interview before AZ played the Chip Kelly Eagles. When asked about Chip’s offense, he said “Oh, it’s a great college offense” and went on to issue backhanded compliments. He wasn’t wrong, but his default is to twist, deceive and spin. He’s not direct. When he is, like with the Brown statement at signing, he’ll find a way to weasel his way out of it. Good luck enforcing pretty much anything else you say, Bruce. At least you get a break with Tom Brady running your team.

  14. The Bucs are a “rented” team. Free Agents and short term deals. Once they lose and/or Brady Retires that stadium is going to be empty again; like it was for many years. All three FL teams share the same issue. The Fans are fickle and 90% of them are partial to “their” team where they relocated from. Unless of course they are winning… then they are Fans for Life! *life is equal to the bandwagon cart keeping it’s wheels. Arians is not a great Coach, just a very lucky Babysitter.

  15. They would sell their souls to the devil to win.
    Sad Sad Sad, a lot of talent will never get a chance.

  16. GoodellMustGo says:
    So much for plugging in any QB to the ‘system’ – Brady WAS the system. As a head coach, Bill has a losing record without Brady…speaks for itself with Brady at 43 in his FIRST season with a NEW team and easily winning the super bowl and on his way to repeat against KC! BB should give his pathetic boat with the ring count on the back to the guy who actually EARNED those rings in SPITE of working with a LOSING head coach….uh, that would be BRADY and Tuna. Case closed.

  17. Mike – surprised at how you’re missing the biggest factor here. The team and league probably are aware of the number of fake cards amongst the ranks. Setting precedence by cutting one player means cutting ALL players who are in violation – otherwise they are exposed to legal action.

  18. Arians is really an unlikeable character. We have two sets of laws, if you’re good you stay if you suck you’re gone. Besides Brady wouldn’t allow it!

  19. Just further proof that these coaches/teams will let anyone play as long as they help them win. Shame on Ariens.

  20. Bruce Arians is such a fraud. He would sell his soul and his mother’s soul for another Super Bowl win.

  21. Great decision. Not many people can have empathy or understand those who suffer mental health issues and choose to forgive them. AB’s intentions are good but he makes poor decisions sometimes. AB’s effort to be an elite athlete and never give up after failing is to be praised and supported. Keep smiling A.B.

  22. Famous Amos says:
    December 20, 2021 at 10:52 am
    These guys are turning out to be the lamest “champions” we’ve seen in some time. Most people will forget about the pandemic season anyway.

    10 4 Rate This

    ————————

    Not to mention, it was the worst SB ever played with officiating giving Tampa a free 14 points before halftime on penalties that weren’t penalties.

    Worst SB ever played and the ratings show how bad it was. Everyone was in lockdown and the NFL had bad ratings. bawahha

  23. So, “one screwup and he’s gone”.
    Unless we want him to play.

    So never mind!

    Thanks, Tom/Bruce!

  24. GoodellMustGo says:
    December 20, 2021 at 10:30 am
    Now that he doesn’t have Belichick to hide his deficiencies especially at his age, Arians knows Brady needs some receivers with talent so Brady can pretend that he’s a better QB than Taysom Hill.

    Sure didn’t have that last night and you saw the result. 🤔
    _________

    ROFLMAO!!! 1 – I don’t think you understand the QB position because every QB needs talented receivers just like every receiver needs a talented QB. They compliment each other – you cannot be a great passing QB without them so I am not sure what point you were trying to make there. 2 – Are you actually saying you think Hill is a better QB than Brady? He is more agile and a better runner for certain but that’s where it ends. How many points did Hill put on the board last night? 0. Brady wasn’t on point last night for sure but he has never been or claimed to be a 1 man show and the Buccs complete offense and play calling was out of sync the whole game. Or are all the dropped passes, wrong routes run and lackluster blocking Brady’s fault too?

  25. Everyone complains about the character of these players. But this is the way they have been treated their whole life. Given passes for their behavior or responsibilities because they have talent. If someone does hold them accountable, someone else will give them a pass. So they never learn.

  26. This just shows you who is really calling the shots. Not even sure TB stands for Tampa Bay anymore.

  27. touchback6 says:
    December 20, 2021 at 11:22 am
    Famous Amos says:
    December 20, 2021 at 10:52 am
    These guys are turning out to be the lamest “champions” we’ve seen in some time. Most people will forget about the pandemic season anyway.

    10 4 Rate This

    ————————

    Not to mention, it was the worst SB ever played with officiating giving Tampa a free 14 points before halftime on penalties that weren’t penalties.

    Worst SB ever played and the ratings show how bad it was. Everyone was in lockdown and the NFL had bad ratings. bawahha

    —–
    Come on now everyone knows it was Tampa Bay Tommy that helped his defense overcome 3 INTs in the NFC Championship game and it was Tommy who singlehandedly held Mahomes to 9 points in the Super Bowl. GOAT!

    I bet Tampa Bay Tommy also made Malcolm Butler interception that Russell Wilson pass. GOAT!

    Tampa Bay Tommy at least has a nice career ahead of him destroying microsoft tablets he seems to be good at that at least. GOAT!

  28. AB is actually a garbage human that has broken more laws and has shown more ethically disgusting behavior than any player in the league over the last 10 years.

  29. You sir are a fraud and liar. TB calls the shots in Tampa and that’s why he’s there. Based upon last night’s performance TB can’t do it without stars surrounding him anymore. It’s understandable given his age, but it’s over and you will be left holding the dirty laundry, Tom will take care of that.

  30. AB extended Big Ben’s career and now he will extend Brady’s. AB is going to Canton.

  31. Chill_Mickelson says:
    December 20, 2021 at 11:14 am
    GoodellMustGo says:
    So much for plugging in any QB to the ‘system’ – Brady WAS the system. As a head coach, Bill has a losing record without Brady…speaks for itself with Brady at 43 in his FIRST season with a NEW team and easily winning the super bowl and on his way to repeat against KC! BB should give his pathetic boat with the ring count on the back to the guy who actually EARNED those rings in SPITE of working with a LOSING head coach….uh, that would be BRADY and Tuna. Case closed.

    ——
    Brady has thrown ZERO TD passes in his career playing against one team. Hmmm.. I wonder which team that is. 🙂

    Brady minus Belichick minus all star receivers around him = worse than Taysom Hill. He proved that last night. Oh snap. GOAT!

    That little tantrum with the microsoft tablet was adorable though I’ll give him that. GOAT baby!

  32. Just like with every other business…they talk the talk about always doing the right thing, but when it comes down to it, they always do what’s best for the business.

  33. If/when AB does something idiotic to disrupt their playoff run, the rest of us will laugh and laugh and laugh. We deserved. Also, let’s stop with the “Brady didnt have all his weapons” BS. He was mediocre, at best last night. Saints disrupted his little dink and dunk timing game and did so all night. Zero points. Zero. I imagine any team with the defensive talent to do so will attempt the same…..could be trouble…..

  34. PhinsJunkie says:
    December 20, 2021 at 10:40 am
    Why do we insist on latching on to words coaches make, much less to words that were said a year ago. Who cares? That’s how Arians felt at the time. That was prior to him winning a Super Bowl and realizing Brown’s value to the team.

    Let me ask a question….your child wants to get a dog and begs/pleads with you to them a dog. This is even though they know you don’t like pets in the house. You say…okay, I’ll get you the dog, but “if he pees in the house one time we will get rid of it.” The child goes above and beyond to ensure that doesn’t happen and walks the dog consistently (day and night) for a year. The dog — you didn’t want — even learns to get you the newspaper from the front yard (pretend it’s 1980). But one day the dog pees on the carpet.

    Do you then decide you’re gonna “honor your word” to make a point?
    —————————————————————————————————————-
    You liken a dog peeing on the carpet with someone who’s often in legal trouble? Next you’ll be saying Antonio knows no better then the dog.

  35. Yep karma is the injuries last night. The world will make it right. The best would be the saints sneaking in and giving them another embarrassment in the playoffs

  36. BRADY and Tuna. Case closed.

    —-
    Tuna LMAO. You mean the guy with zero Super Bowl titles without Belichick on his coaching staff? Him? That guy? That Tuna?

    Tampa Bay Tommy lovers are reaching for straws now. They’re so mad that their boy Tommy was completely outplayed and exposed in every aspect of the game by Taysom Hill last night. Taysom freaking HILL man. 🙂

  37. Brady has thrown ZERO TD passes in his career playing against one team. Hmmm.. I wonder which team that is. 🙂

    Brady minus Belichick minus all star receivers around him = worse than Taysom Hill. He proved that last night. Oh snap. GOAT!

    That little tantrum with the microsoft tablet was adorable though I’ll give him that. GOAT baby!

    This is so dumb.
    Again how did Rogers look with all his weapons vs this same team?
    How did Murray look yesterday without Hopkins to open up the rest of the field?

    How did Bill look last season ?

    Bill spending a RECORD 168 million in the off-season (and as a patriots fan im glad he did) is him trying to build his version of a “super team”

    But the notion that Brady “needs” “all star” talent around him to win is just dumb.

    Again every QB has a bad game every now and then but the way the Brady crybabies seem to get so much joy out of it is weird.

  38. I am not a fan of Bruce Arians, but all these commenters slamming him for keeping Antonio Brown are hypocrites. There is no NFL team with playoff hopes that would do anything different. You know your team would do exactly the same thing in the same circumstances.

    The one thing I’d criticize Arians for in this context is saying anything about AB last year. The guy runs his mouth too much, period. Take a page from Belichick’s book and don’t give people material to come at you with.

  39. Of course it is in the best interest, and it’s also best interest of the NFL. And I think you all know it.

  40. GoodellMustGo says:
    Who won the SB last year and on the way to repeat and who had a losing record that same year…..hmmmmm. Who needs who? Speaks for itself. Move on, you’re grasping at straws.

  41. I bet Arians wishes he could go back in time and retract that statement. However, he said it and now he has to own it. So who will trust anything Arians says anymore? Nobody. Maybe he had his fingers crossed. I remember doing that when I was a child.

  42. Tom Brady missing his top receivers against the 6-7 Saints (but with a HoF TE): 0 TDs, 1 INT, 1 fumble, 0 points.

    Aaron Rodgers missing his top three WRs, his top two OL and losing his starting TE for the season during the game on the road against the 7-0 Arizona Cardinals: 2 TDs, 0 turnovers, 24 points. (Cardinals were a top 2 defense at the time). So who is the MVP? And before anyone brings up Rodgers game against NO, that was essentially the preseason for the vast majority of Packers starters as they sat them all during the preseason. Brady’s meltdown and hissy fit happened in week 15, when the Bucs could have clinched the division.

  43. This is so dumb.
    Again how did Rogers look with all his weapons vs this same team?
    ==========

    Dumb, indeed.

    You’re comparing Rodgers fully heathy team to Bradys super squad??

  44. As a coach I don’t necessarily blame Arians. With Brady and top notch receiver Brown, this scenario makes life a whole lot simpler for Coach Arians in the team’s quest for another SB. I don’t think it’s worth it but coaches and owners like to see their names attached to a SB over everything else.

    The NFL should have made this decision, unfortunately they would have done the same thing as the Buc. They just didn’t want to take the heat.

  45. Not surprised, but as someone who lost their father to COVID, to me this behavior is basically criminal and the NFL, Roger Goodel, Bucs and Tom Brady (and probably most other teams) are accessories. Three game suspension for lying and potentially harming others is disgusting and leaves a stench on the NFL. AB has proven over and over that he is a narcissistic scumbag who continues to suffer no real consequences from those that run the league. Just keeping printing money boys, that’s all that matters. Where are the Dan Rooneys and Lamar Hunts of todays NFL?

  46. Did you see that old Arians hobbling around last night? That old rig looks like he’s on his last legs anyhow. Win at any cost is apparently quite costly.

  47. Tom Brady couldn’t be the General Manager in New England to decide who should be on the team, so he went to Tampa Bay where it is obvious who is in charge of player personnel. One guess, and it’s not Bruce Ariens! Whatever Tommy wants, Tommy gets. From now on Bruce should just keep his yap shut so he doesn’t have to eat his words. “One mistake away from being cut”!! What a joke.

  48. Like it or not the Bucs are a contending team with a flagship QB. No way would the NFL step in and derail that and obviously goes without saying the Bucs themselves would not do such a thing either.

  49. PhinsJunkie says:
    December 20, 2021 at 10:40 am
    Why do we insist on latching on to words coaches make, much less to words that were said a year ago. Who cares? That’s how Arians felt at the time.
    ________

    Why? Because some of us still value honesty and integrity. What someone said does not change just because that person later feels differently.

  50. No surprise here. If you’re a great player, all is forgiven. This is the way it is. This is also why if Colin Kaepernick is not in the league. If he was still good enough, plenty of teams would be willing to look the other way. He is not.

  51. Chill_Mickelson says:
    December 20, 2021 at 12:06 pm
    GoodellMustGo says:
    Who won the SB last year and on the way to repeat and who had a losing record that same year…..hmmmmm. Who needs who? Speaks for itself. Move on, you’re grasping at straws.


    LOL so desperate and so mad. Tee hee 🙂

    Imagine claiming Belichick sucks and pointing at the shell of Cam Newton as “evidence”. 😂😂😂😂😂

  52. Unfortunately in sports, we are taught that winning is what counts, no matter the cost. Any other team in a similar situation would have done the same. Had the team let Brown go someone else would have picked him up. So although morally wrong, the Bucs did the logical thing by keeping him.

  53. Way to keep your word Bruce. I’m not surprised just disappointed. Nobody keeps their word anymore.

  54. Mister Tough Guy Arians was foolish to make that public statement when he has no authority to enforce it without Tom’s permission. Now he looks like the biggest fool in professional sports. Sadly winning more important than character to him.

  55. flash1224 says:
    December 20, 2021 at 11:53 am
    Brady has thrown ZERO TD passes in his career playing against one team. Hmmm.. I wonder which team that is. 🙂

    Brady minus Belichick minus all star receivers around him = worse than Taysom Hill. He proved that last night. Oh snap. GOAT!

    That little tantrum with the microsoft tablet was adorable though I’ll give him that. GOAT baby!

    This is so dumb.
    Again how did Rogers look with all his weapons vs this same team?
    How did Murray look yesterday without Hopkins to open up the rest of the field?

    How did Bill look last season ?

    ———-
    Rodgers weapons even at full strength are not even close in quality to what Brady has benefited from the last couple of years. Winston threw for 5000 yards with those weapons. And now add Gronk and AB.

    No shame in admitting Brady needs these weapons around him at his age to be elite because he can’t elevate teams anymore. If he ever could. This is who he is.

    As for Bill I’d say he did well with a really bad Patriots team on both sides of the ball in 2020. Made the most of what he had there.

  56. Imagine claiming Belichick sucks and pointing at the shell of Cam Newton as “evidence”.

    Um who was it that made Cam newton the starter and continued to play him?

  57. flash1224 says:
    December 20, 2021 at 12:46 pm
    Imagine claiming Belichick sucks and pointing at the shell of Cam Newton as “evidence”.

    Um who was it that made Cam newton the starter and continued to play him?

    —-
    You’d rather see Stidham or Hoyer?

  58. Tom and his weapons were fully healthy when the game started. They scored zero while everyone was healthy and on the field.

  59. Fanboys are fired up over typical Brady tantrum and cheating. AB broke the law and should be out of the league but little Tammy wants him so he stays…..NFL does what Tammy wants…..disappointed.

  60. “Arians has yet to reconcile his current words with his past ones.” I do not like Arians, I think he is a total clown, but he is not required to reconcile words from a year ago with a decision today. All he has to do is say I changed my mind. We are all allowed to change our minds and each and everyone one of us as done so on some issue.

  61. That statement just shows you how convoluted Airians thought process is in regards to knowing what’s in the teams best interest…..

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