Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Antonio Brown (81) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Jason Behnken)
- Opening odds heavily favor wide receiver Antonio Brown re-signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021
- Brown has 45 receptions for 481 yards and four touchdowns in eight games with the Buccaneers
- A look at the odds on who Brown will sign with as a free agent can be found below
Antonio Brown has been productive and on his best behavior during his stint with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
However, the mercurial wide receiver’s contract expires at the end of the season and he can become a free agent. Oddsmakers have installed the Buccaneers as the odds-on favorite to re-sign Brown.
Here is a look at the odds of what team Brown will be playing for when the 2021 season begins:
Odds Who Antonio Brown Plays for Week 1 of 2021 NFL Season
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-333|
|Green Bay Packers||+550|
Odds as of Jan. 6
Growing Role with Bucs
Brown joined the Buccaneers’ active roster in Week 9 after serving his eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal code of conduct. In eight games, he has 45 receptions on 61 targets for 483 yards and four touchdowns.
As the weeks have gone on, Brown has become a bigger part of the Buccaneers’ offense and a trusted target for quarterback Tom Brady.
Don’t look now but AB is heating up 👀 Antonio Brown now has a TD in 3 straight weeks! pic.twitter.com/Iyt2tk2uB8
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) January 3, 2021
Brown had his best game yet last Sunday in the regular-season finale, a game in which wide receiver Mike Evans left in the first quarter with a knee injury.
In the 44-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons, Brown had 11 catches on 14 targets for 138 yards and two TDs. All were season highs. He had not surpassed 93 yards in his previous seven games.
Going Off the Rails
Brown was one of the league’s premier receivers before his career went off the rails in 2019.
He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and named an All-Pro on four occasions during the first nine seasons of his career, all spent with the Pittsburgh Steelers, from 2010-18.
Brown had 1,000 yards receiving in seven of his last eight seasons with the Steelers. He also registered six 100-catch seasons and scored double-digit touchdowns four times while developing a great rapport with Ben Roethlisberger.
Antonio Brown gets loose in the Jaguars secondary and HE IS GONE!
— PFF (@PFF) November 18, 2018
However, when Brown decided to skip the last game of the 2018 season, the Steelers had enough of his antics and traded him to the then-Oakland Raiders. Brown never made it through training camp before being released after a series of controversies.
The New England Patriots signed Brown as a free agent, but he played in only one game before being cut after being accused of sexual assault.
Considering Brown is 32, the days of 100 receptions or 1,000 yards are likely over. However, after missing nearly a season and a half, Brown has showed he still has something left.
Super Bowl 55 Odds Tracker
What Does He Have Left?
Of course, the people whose opinions matter the most about how much Brown still has left are teams’ personnel departments. Thus, it is hard to say for sure how much action Brown will generate on the free-agent market.
What we do know is the Seattle Seahawks were originally favored to sign Brown when he was removed from the suspended list. And the Green Bay Packers were the picks to add Brown before the 2020 season started.
Pro Football Focus’ graders have thought highly of Brown’s work this season. His 85.8 grade ranks 11th among the 131 wide receivers who have played enough snaps to qualify.
The biggest concern teams are likely to have about Brown is his off-field behavior. It is why the Steelers, Raiders and Patriots decided to move on from him despite the prodigious talent and Hall of Fame-type career.
Harmony By the Bay
Brown, though, has not caused any problems in the two-and-a-half months since joining the Buccaneers. Part of that can be attributed to Brady, who has gone out of his way to serve as a confidant.
Brown is living in a guest house on Brady’s estate on Davis Island, just off the coast of Tampa. The two have developed a close relationship.
Man that guy @AB84 is certainly washed up. Highest graded wide receiver on @PFF week 17. Get well soon @MikeEvans13_ and let’s get it @Buccaneers pic.twitter.com/MwJGy1CavV
— Lhova (@LL_Cool_AF) January 5, 2021
Coach Bruce Arians also has a longstanding relationship with Brown. That dates to the first two seasons of Brown’s career when Arians was the Steelers’ offensive coordinator.
The Buccaneers have been the perfect fit for Brown to this point. Though history shows that one never knows what Brown might do next, it would seem wise for him to stay with Tampa Bay.
While betting the Buccaneers is not a value play, it is the logical play.
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.