Bruce Arians shuts down possibility of Buccaneers signing Antonio Brown: ‘It’s not gonna happen’

Bruce Arians did everything except physically slam the doors shut in Antonio Brown’s face on Thursday during an appearance on CBS Sports’ Tiki and Tierney. The Buccaneers head coach was asked about the possibility of bringing in the talented, but troubled wide receiver due to his strong relationship with quarterback Tom Brady, who just signed a two-year deal with the club. 

While Brady may have a bond with Brown, Arians, who was the receiver’s offensive coordinator when they were both members of the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, rather emphatically nixed any sort of talk of a reunion. 

“Yeah, it’s not gonna happen,” he said. “There’s no room. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not a fit here.” 

The loss of receiver Breshad Perriman in free agency was then brought up as a sort of rebuttal to Arians’ “no room” reasoning and was again pressed if he’d bring Brown aboard if the 31-year-old was willing to take a veteran minimum deal. Still, no dice. 

“No,” he said. 

“I just know him,” Arians added. “It’s not a fit in our locker room.” 

Arians’ comments back up an NFL Network report from last week that suggested Tampa Bay would likely pass on Brown, despite the arrival of Brady. During the six-time Super Bowl champion’s courtship in free agency, teams were reportedly under the impression that Brady wanted to bring Brown with him wherever he ended up. Brady was said to be in “consistent contact” with Brown during the early parts of the offseason and reportedly expressed his desire to team up again somewhere. The duo played in just one game together during their time in New England, but they did seem to have instant chemistry. In a blowout win over the Dolphins in Week 2, Brown caught four passes for 56 yards and a touchdown. 

Despite all that, Brown’s well-documented off-field issues — including allegations of sexual assault and sexual misconduct — are possibly what’s keeping him from joining what is poised to be a lethal Buccaneers offense that already features star receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Brown is also under investigation by the NFL for those off-field incidents and very well could face punishment. As that investigation continues to unfold, Brown would likely be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list if he were to sign with a club. All that is moot, however, as it relates to the Buccaneers, now that Arians has put the kibosh on him landing in Tampa Bay. 

And yet another potential landing spot for Brown is off the board.