Brown’s deal could be worth up to $6.25 million, his agent said. He is guaranteed $3.1 million, including a $2 million signing bonus.
To make the needed cap room to sign Brown, the Buccaneers and tight end Cameron Brate have agreed to a restructured deal that clears $4.69 million in cap space for 2021, a source told ESPN’s Field Yates.
Brate’s salary for next season drops to $1.075 million, and he gets a $2.425 million signing bonus, the source said. As they have done often this offseason, the Buccaneers included two voidable years on the contract.
After serving an eight-game suspension last season for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy, Brown signed with the Buccaneers just before their Week 9 game against the New Orleans Saints. While his contract with the Buccaneers was a far cry from his previous salaries — his base salary was $750,000, with incentives that pushed the deal to $2.5 million — the move reunited him with quarterback Tom Brady and afforded him the chance to get his life back on track after being out of football for over a year and initially calling it quits after he was cut by the New England Patriots in September 2019.
Bruce Arians initially said Brown “was not a fit” for the Buccaneers’ locker room in the early spring of 2020, but the coach relented when injuries began piling up. After meeting with Brown in October, Arians said he believed the wide receiver had “matured.”
Brown honored that trust, with Arians calling him a “model citizen” during the season. Despite being on felony probation for a battery charge against a delivery truck driver and facing a sexual assault lawsuit, Brown kept his name out of the headlines in Tampa Bay while being productive on the field.
Last week, Brown reached a settlement with his former trainer, who had filed a civil suit accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three separate occasions.
General manager Jason Licht said last week that resolving Brown’s legal situation wouldn’t be a precursor to re-signing him, but it did provide clarity in this situation. Licht called Brown a “good player and a great teammate.”
Brown, 32, led the Buccaneers in receiving targets over the final five weeks of the regular season and did not record a drop in 2020. He also produced the highest yards after the catch of any Buccaneers receiver with 5.82.
Tampa Bay showcased his versatility, lining him up inside, outside and in the backfield. His ability to change gears and stop and go helped open a new dimension to the Buccaneers’ offense, which was primarily a downfield passing attack before Brady’s arrival.
Brown spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers and was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection and four-time first-team All Pro. He has 886 receptions for 11,746 yards and 79 touchdowns in 139 regular-season games over 11 seasons.
ESPN’s Jenna Laine contributed to this report.