Tom Brady ‘had nothing to do’ with Antonio Brown signing: Bruce Arians

Tom Brady was not the driving force behind the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ pending signing of suspended wide receiver Antonio Brown, according to head coach Bruce Arians.

After Sunday’s 45-20 whipping of the Las Vegas Raiders, Arians insisted Brady didn’t push for the move to add his former New England Patriots teammate, who is serving an eight-game suspension by the NFL for multiple violations of the league’s personal-conduct policy.

“Everybody wants to say Tom picked him. Tom had nothing to do with this,” Arians said after the game. “This is something [general manager] Jason [Licht] and I have been talking about for some time.”

Arians, who was Brown’s offensive coordinator with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2010-11, previously had said the seven-time Pro Bowler wasn’t “a fit in our locker room.”

On Sunday, however, Arians stated he thinks Brown “has matured” and “I believe in second chances.”

Arians added that the organization will pay close attention to the sexual assault civil lawsuit filed against the seven-time Pro Bowler by former trainer Britney Taylor, which is scheduled to go to trial in December.

“Let the court system do its job,” Arians said. “If it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.”

Brown is eligible to be reinstated from the suspended list for the Bucs’ Week 9 game against New Orleans. The Bucs are 5-2 in Brady’s first season since leaving the Pats, entering Monday night’s game against the 1-6 Giants.

The 32-year-old Brown hasn’t appeared in an NFL game since Sept. 15 of last season with Brady and the Patriots, posting four receptions for 56 yards and a touchdown. He was released five days later.

From 2013 through 2018, however, Brown averaged 114 receptions, 1,524 yards and 11 touchdowns per season.

“He’s a tremendous football player,” Brady said Sunday. “I played with him for a brief period of time. I’m looking forward to working with him again. He’s a very hard-working guy.”

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