League sources told ESPN and NFL Media on Friday that Brown and the Buccaneers are close to finalizing a one-year deal. According to the outlets, Brown is scheduled to arrive in Tampa on Friday night for the first day of COVID-19 testing.
Brown must pass the league’s coronavirus protocols before he can officially join the team. According to ESPN, he is expected to make his debut with the Buccaneers in Week 9 against the New Orleans Saints.
Buccaneers star quarterback Tom Brady has been pushing for the Bucs to sign Brown in recent months, according to NFL Media. The Buccaneers and Brown’s representatives have quietly been working on an agreement to reunite the duo. Brady and Brown played in one game together last year with the Patriots.
The Seattle Seahawks also were in the mix to acquire Brown before the Buccaneers reached an agreement with the Pro Bowl wideout.
The Buccaneers have dealt with multiple injuries at the wide receiver position this season. Mike Evans has been playing on an injured ankle since Week 4, while Chris Godwin just returned from a hamstring ailment. Scotty Miller has been limited due to groin and hip injuries.
Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians, who coached Brown while he was offensive coordinator of the Steelers, previously was critical of Brown. Arians said in 2019 that Brown was “too much of a diva,” and noted in March that Brown wasn’t a fit in the Bucs’ locker room.
In July, the NFL announced it had suspended Brown for eight games because of multiple violations of the league’s personal conduct policy. He is eligible to return from his suspension after Week 8.
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