New England Patriots

MIAMI, FLORIDA - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown #17 of the New England Patriots celebrates with Tom Brady #12 after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter in the game at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com

Tom Brady is all but confirmed to be joining the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the next chapter of his transcendent football career. All that’s left is the official announcement. But apparently, Brady doesn’t necessarily want to make the drive down 95 to Tampa alone.

Following up an intriguing tweet by 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Scott Zolak on Tuesday, the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero have added fuel to a fire that simply won’t go away. Brady reportedly wanted to bring Antonio Brown to his new team, as indicated by teams that showed interest in him.

“Brown is still under investigation, and remains to be seen when he can play. But Brady is close with him”, Rapoport added.

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown of the New England Patriots celebrates with Tom Brady after catching a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 15: Antonio Brown of the New England Patriots celebrates with Tom Brady after catching a touchdown in the second quarter of the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 15, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

This could be a clear sign that the Bucs are open to that possibility. Reports indicate that they were willing to take a bigger financial plunge than any other team, with a deal for $30 million per season (implying multiple years) reportedly being finalized. So perhaps they’re open to taking a riskier plunge by adding Brown to the mix as well.

It could not have gone much worse for Brown in New England, where his tenure lasted 11 days before the Pats cut him loose amid new investigations and ugly behind-the-scenes behavior. The sense is that Brady got enough of a taste of Brown as one of his weapons that he still wants to see how much fruit their partnership can bare. It’s understandably baffling, considering all that Brown has done and been through over the past couple of years, why Brady would still be showing this level of support. But here we are. We got stuff like this coming out:

What should hold this up is that the Bucs really don’t need Brown. They already have two outstanding wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. Brady will get tight ends O.J. Howard and Cameron Brate more involved as he takes a major role in shaping the offense. Brown in Tampa would be a luxury as opposed to a necessity, which he was in New England from a talent standpoint.

But the Bucs look like they’re ready to do whatever makes Brady happy. And if that means hitching the proverbial wagon to Brown as well, then so be it. If that happens, and Brown can somehow put the phone down stay out of trouble, watch the hell out for Brady and his deep (deepest ever?) arsenal of weapons.

Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at matthew.dolloff@bbgi.com.