TAMPA, Fla. — Receiver Antonio Brown has agreed to return to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a one-year contract that could be worth up to $6.5 million, including incentives, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity Wednesday because the agreement, which includes a $2 million signing bonus and a little more than $3 million guaranteed, had not been announced by the reigning Super Bowl champions.
NFL Network was first to report the deal.
The Bucs were already assured of returning all 22 starters from their 31-9 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL title game in February. Bringing back Brown ensures Tom Brady will pursue an eighth Super Bowl ring with the entire “band” of offensive playmakers assembled around the 43-year-old quarterback last season.
The @Buccaneers will bring back in 2021:
▫️All 22 Super Bowl starters (only team in the salary cap era to ever do that)
▫️Their top 16 snap-count leaders on offense
▫️Their top 21 snap-count leaders on defense
Unprecedented continuity after a Super Bowl W.
— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 28, 2021
General manager Jason Licht made good on a promise to keep the team together by placing the franchise tag on receiver Chris Godwin, signing linebackers Shaquil Barrett and Lavonte David to multi-year contracts, and bringing back tight end Rob Gronkowski, running back Leonard Fournette and defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh on one-year deals.
Brady and left tackle Donovan Smith contributed to the effort by signing salary-cap- friendly contract extensions that freed money to help Licht get it done.
The agreement with Brown comes after the receiver, who joined the Bucs midway through last season after serving an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, settled a civil lawsuit filed against Brown by a former trainer.
Licht was asked last week if Brown resolving the civil dispute would improve the chances of the 32-year-old receiver coming back.
“We’ve had discussions through the off-season, and as you can tell we’ve put an emphasis on bringing back players from last year that contributed to our success, and he would be no different,” the GM said. “We’ll continue to have talks and see where it goes.”
A four-time All-Pro, Brown had 45 receptions for 483 yards and four touchdowns in eight regular-season games in 2020. He caught a TD pass in the Super Bowl, capping a post-season in which he had eight catches for 81 yards and two TDs.
In 139 regular-season games over 11 seasons with Pittsburgh, New England and Tampa Bay, Brown has amassed 886 career receptions for 11,746 yards and 79 TDs.