The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will return former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown to their active roster following his three-game NFL suspension for providing a fake vaccination card, and head coach Bruce Arians acknowledged on Monday that he’s giving Brown another chance that he said he would not.
Brown was traded by the Steelers, and cut by the Oakland Raiders and New England Patriots before being suspended by the NFL. He was facing criminal charges, civil suits and sexual assault allegations in multiple states when NFL commissioner Roger Goodell pulled the plug on his 2019 season.
Brown sat out nearly an entire year and eventually landed with Tampa Bay in 2020. After signing the troubled wide receiver, Arians said “if he screws up one time, he’s gone.”
But since Browns joined the team in 2020, and was a key part of Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run, Arians said things have changed. When the Bucs brought Brown back for 2021, Arians described him as a “model citizen.” Now, he finds himself giving Brown yet another second chance.
“A lot of things went on last year that I was very proud of him,” Arians said. “I made the decision that this was best for our football team.”
Arians also dismissed any criticism he might receive from those that would be keen to point out the inconsistency between his previous statement and current actions.
“I could give a shit what they think,” he said. “They only thing I care about is this football team and what’s best for us.”