RENTON — The drama surrounding Antonio Brown is apparently moving on, and east, from Seattle.
The former All-Pro wide receiver is headed to Tampa Bay to sign with the Buccaneers, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Friday.
“Antonio Brown and the Buccaneers have reached agreement on a one-year deal, per sources. Language still has to be finalized, COVID protocols passed, but Brown is likely to make his Bucs’ debut in Week 9 against the Saints,” Schefter reported.
The news of Tampa Bay’s accelerated interest in Brown was first reported an hour earlier Friday by NFL reporter Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.
Instead of Russell Wilson in Seattle, Brown is going to be catching passes from Tom Brady in Tampa Bay.
The Bucs and Brown reached the reported agreement a day after Wilson explained why he wanted Brown to sign with the Seahawks. Wilson trained with the exiled, suspended Brown this summer at the quarterback’s offseason training site in California.
“Nobody’s perfect,” Wilson said, referring to Brown’s NFL suspension and three teams—the Steelers, Raiders and Patriots—dropping Brown in the last year and a half.
On Wednesday, coach Pete Carroll said the Seahawks were interested and are exploring possibly signing Brown to play after his NFL suspension ends. That’s scheduled to be in two weeks.
But the Buccaneers apparently will beat the Seahawks to signing Brown.
That leaves the Seahawks (still) waiting on another former All-Pro wide receiver: Josh Gordon.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has yet to decide whether to reinstate Gordon from his seventh league suspension for violating drug policies.
The Seahawks signed back the 29-year-old veteran in early September, days before their opening game, with the presumption he would be getting reinstated for this season, at least at some point. But the league has refused to comment on Gordon’s suspension, which he got in December after six weeks with the Seahawks.