Antonio Brown shines against the Dolphins

When the Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed wide receiver Antonio Brown in the offseason, they knew that he had the potential to make big plays as he’s done throughout his whole career.

On Sunday, that big-play ability was on full display. Brown, who became the fastest player to 900 receptions, caught seven passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns, including a 62-year touchdown reception as the Buccaneers defeated the Dolphins 45-17 at Raymond James Stadium.

“That is something I am very grateful for, but you know, I couldn’t do it by myself,” Brown said about being the fastest player to 900 receptions. “I’ve been able to play with some great quarterbacks – Ben Roethlisberger, Tom Brady. It’s a blessing to play with guys like that and be able to get the ball and be on that trajectory.”

The 33-year-old Brown(20 receptions, 325 yards, three touchdowns this season) has had his share of issues off the field, and according to Brown, those issues have made him a better person today.

“In life, we all need conflict,” Brown said. “We all need to go through things to shape our purpose and make us better. If we always sat here and didn’t go through anything, we would not appreciate life, or we wouldn’t be able to grow. I think the things I went through were able to prepare me to grow and make me a better person. I’m glad to be here today.”

Tom Brady, who threw five touchdowns passes on Sunday and developed a close bond with Brown when the two were in New England, gave Brown a lot of credit for keeping his focus on football during the tough times.

“So much, I think since the day we met – obviously I’ve admired him and watched him for a long time and obviously played with him briefly in New England, and [we] just struck up a great relationship, and [I] really wanted to see him get things,” Brady said. “Sometimes things take us away from what we really love to do in football – I think he’s done an incredible job personally of putting a lot of those things aside and just focusing on football and just showing everyone how great he is.”

The Buccaneers have many weapons on the outside in Brown, Mike Evans, and Chris Godwin.  According to Brady, Tampa Bay has the best wide receivers in football.

“Mike [Evans] is a great player, Chris [Godwin] is a great player, Tyler [Johnson] made some plays,” he said. ‘”So, everybody is really contributing, and it’s fun to see from my standpoint, all these different guys of different ages all kind of coming together as a group and being, I think, the best group of receivers in the league.”

Brown is playing at a fairly high level, which could be bad news for rest of the league.

Buccaneers’ GM: ‘Year after year, Tom(Brady) proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game’

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers today signed quarterback Tom Brady to a contract extension, the team announced on Friday.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, it’s a four-year contract extension that voids to a one-year extension that locks him into Tampa through the 2022 season. Additionally, according to the report, the deal saves the Buccaneers $19 million against the salary cap this year.

“When we acquired Tom a year ago, we were extremely excited about the leadership, poise, and winning track record that he would bring to our locker room,” Buccaneers GM Jason Licht said. “Since that time, he has proven himself to be the ultimate competitor and delivered in every way we had imagined, helping us capture the Lombardi Trophy. Year after year, Tom proves that he remains one of the elite quarterbacks in this game, and we couldn’t be happier to keep him in Tampa Bay as we continue to pursue our goals together.”

The 43-year-old Brady led Tampa Bay to their second Super Bowl title and captured Super Bowl MVP after the team defeated the Chiefs 31-9 Super Bowl LV victory. With the win, Brady has seven Super Bowl titles. 

Starting all 16 games for the Buccaneers in 2019, Brady threw for 4,633 yards and a franchise-record 40 passing touchdowns. He finished with a 102.2 passer rating in 2020.

Over his 21 NFL seasons, Brady remains the NFL’s all-time postseason leader in playoff wins (34), playoff passing yards (12,449), playoff passing touchdowns (83), Super Bowl passing yards (3,039), Super Bowl passing touchdowns (21), Super Bowl appearances (10) and Super Bowl wins (seven).

Tampa Bay is looking to hold onto many key free agents from their championship team. They were able to retain LB Lavonte David, who signed a two-year deal with the Buccaneers, and they franchised WR Chris Godwin, but they have free agents Shaq Barrett, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette, and others to bring back.

Bringing those guys back would go a long in helping Tampa repeat as champions, and of course, none of that happens without Brady.

 

Buccaneers tag WR Chris Godwin

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have applied its franchise tag on wide receiver Chris Godwin, the team announced on Tuesday.

Godwin, 25, is expected to make around $16 million next season. Last season, Godwin finished second on the Buccaneers with 65 receptions and 840 yards. He also tallied seven receiving touchdowns for Tampa Bay, which tied for second among all Buccaneers in 2020.

In the playoffs, Godwin recorded 16 receptions for 232 yards and one touchdown. His 16 postseason receptions and 232 receiving yards each marked the most in a single postseason in franchise history.

In his four seasons with the Buccaneers, Godwin has totaled 244 receptions for 3,540 yards (14.5 avg.) and 24 touchdowns. He earned both Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors in 2019 after a career season, which saw him finish third in the NFL in receiving yards (1,333).

Godwin is a dynamic receiver, and with him and Evans together, Tampa Bay has one of the better wide receivers tandems in football. It should be interesting to see if they will bring free agent WR Antonio Brown back, which makes the wide receivers room even better. However, for now, Evans and Godwin will be together for at least another year.

 

Bucs’ Godwin on Evans: ‘I think he’s still one of the more underrated receivers in the league’

Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin have established themselves as one of the best wide receiver duos in football. Last season, Evans and Godwin both had over one-thousand receiving years, and both made the Pro Bowl.

Evans, 27, has been over one-thousand receiving yards in each of the first six seasons of his career. The three-time Pro Bowler joined Randy Moss as the only wide receivers to have over one-thousand receiving yards in each of their first six seasons in the league. Despite the numbers, Godwin believes Evans is underrated. 

“Everyone knows how dominant Mike is,” Godwin said during a video call on Monday. “I think he’s still one of the more underrated receivers in the league. Every time we go out there and work, we just go out there, and we push each other. He knows he can lean on me, I know I can lean on him.

“We know that together we’re going to push each other to be the best that we can be. Like B.A. (Bruce Arians) was saying, we’re team-first guys. I think the biggest thing with us is if we’re winning – yes, we feel like us contributing is going to be to the team’s benefit, but at the end of the day if we win, that’s the most important thing.”

Godwin, 24, has also developed into an excellent receiver. In 2019, Godwin had career-highs in receptions(86), receiving yards(1333), and touchdowns(9). The fourth-year wide receiver can be a free agent at the end of the season. However, Godwin hopes he can continue to play alongside Evans for years to come.

“I think that would be really dope,” Godwin said. “I think me and Mike have grown so much over the last couple of years. Like I said, that’s someone I really look up to. I admire him, and he has helped me so much. Keeping that intact would definitely be something that is beneficial for all of us. That’s my guy. Anything I can do to roll with him, I’m rolling.”

Many believe with the additions of Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski that Tampa Bay’s offense can be special, and according to Godwin, it could happen if the team avoids mistakes. 

“I don’t know if we’re quite there yet, but what I will say is that if we’re able to significantly reduce, not only the turnovers, but the mental errors on everybody’s part – if we’re able to keep pulling the rope in the same direction, I think it’s pretty scary what our offense can be,” Godwin said. “I’m not really sure if there’s a limit on that. We’ve still got a long way to go. We’ve done some really good things so far in camp, but by no means are we where we need to be. We’ve got some time, and we’ve got the right guys with the right mentalities, so we should all keep getting after it.”