Antonio Brown is now officially a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after signing his contract on Tuesday. He is eligible to enter the team facility on Wednesday and see his new jersey, which includes a new number, as well. Brown will now wear No. 81 as a member of the Buccaneers.
According to The Athletic's Greg Auman, Brown will move away from No. 84 that he wore with the Pittsburgh Steelers and No. 17 that he wore for one game with the New England Patriots. Wide receiver Justin Watson currently wears 17 while Cameron Brate wears 84. Now Brown will don a jersey number with a mixed history of success.
The most famous player to wear No. 81 for the Buccaneers is Jacquez Green, who spent four seasons with the team. During his stint in Florida, he tallied 157 receptions for 2,217 yards and seven touchdowns. Green also scored on a 95-yard punt return against the Green Bay Packers. The other players to wear No. 81 in Tampa Bay were wide receiver Isaac Hagins, tight end Jackie Harris, tight end Alex Smith and wide receiver Micheal Spurlock.
Auman also reports that the final numbers on Brown's contract include $1 million in base salary and per-game bonuses. He has a chance to earn another $750,000 by winning Super Bowl LV. Additionally, he can add $250,000 each for 45 catches, 650 yards or six touchdowns if the Buccaneers make the playoffs.
"It’s an insurance policy," head coach Bruce Arians told reporters on Sunday. He explained that bringing Brown into the fold will benefit the team after dealing with injuries to Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. "When we don’t have Mike, when we don’t have Chris, why not have another Pro Bowl-caliber player that’s available that fits our cap and fits everything else. So why not? We have good players. You can’t have enough of them."
Injuries have caused several issues for the Buccaneers during the 2020 season. An ankle injury has limited Evans, while Godwin has missed three games already due to a concussion and a hamstring injury. The latter will be out against the Giants on Monday night. The Pro Bowl receiver fractured his left index finger while catching a touchdown pass against the Raiders and had to undergo surgery. He will likely return to the starting roster for a Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints, the same week that Brown will be eligible to suit up for the first time in 2020.