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Buccaneers signing Antonio Brown didn’t make sense in March, but does now

Things change, which is why AB is now a Buccaneer

NFL Combine - Day 1 Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images

Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians went on the “Tiki & Tierney” show in March stating he wasn’t interested in acquiring the services of one Antonio Brown.

“Yeah, it’s not gonna happen,” he said. “There’s no room. It’s just not gonna happen. It’s just not a fit here.”

Pressed further about the topic, Arians said,

“I just know him...It’s not a fit in our locker room.”

A lot changes from March to October. How much? See the lead art on this post? The image is from late February in Indianapolis in a room full of media, scouts, coaches, and general managers. No masks. That’s how much.

Now, six weeks in to their 2020 season, the Buccaneers are playing with an injured Mike Evans. Chris Godwin has played in just three games and continues to practice in a fashion designed to hopefully prevent reaggravation of the hamstring injury which has contributed to his missing half of the season thus far.

O.J. Howard ruptured his achilles and is done for the season. Scotty Miller started the year setting career highs almost weekly before a groin injury slowed down his rise and production in the Buccaneers’ offense.

Suddenly. There’s room. What isn’t sudden are the conversations between Tampa Bay and their new troubled star receiver. Multiple outlets have reported these conversations have been ongoing for some time. Long enough for Brown to convince Arians the man he knows is changed for the better? Apparently.

None of us are in on the conversation. What we are in on is the current state of the Buccaneers. Despite all the injuries and some of the early season struggles - particularly on offense - the Bucs are in first place in the NFC South with a big opportunity to put a strangle-hold on the division in the coming weeks.

The New Orleans Saints have been without Michael Thomas for much of the year and will be without him again as they face the Carolina Panthers this weekend. They’ll also be missing Emmanuel Sanders now, giving the Panthers a big opportunity to hand the Saints a loss, and help the Bucs in the process.

First, Tampa Bay has to handle their business against the Raiders. Then, against the Giants, then, in Week 9, a big match-up between the Bucs and Saints looms on the horizon. One where Tampa Bay can stake their claim as the best in the NFC South.

It’ll be some eight months since Arians said Brown wasn’t a fit, and there wasn’t room. And it’ll be the first time Brown gets to show he is a good fit. Because now there’s room, and now is the right time to take that risk.