Buccaneers bringing back Antonio Brown is a disgrace

Bruce Arians is a good guy and a good coach who made a really bad decision this week by allowing receiver Antonio Brown and safety Mike Edwards back into the building at the Buccaneers’ training facility.

I get that Tampa Bay is in need of help at receiver with Chris Godwin lost for the season with a knee injury and Mike Evans knocked out with a hamstring injury suffered last week.

But to bring back Brown, a serial bad guy with a rap sheet longer than his list of career NFL receptions, after he served a three-game suspension for presenting a fake COVID-19 vaccination card, is detestable on the part of Arians and general manager Jason Licht.

Brown has made a fool of Arians, who has been deservedly lauded for the litany of good he does at the forefront of coaching and front-office diversity.

Remember the tough-guy words from Arians a year ago when the Bucs controversially signed Brown, who was freshly removed from serving an eight-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy for an accusation of sexual misconduct at his home by an artist who was working there in 2017, a felony burglary with battery charge and two lesser misdemeanor charges related to an incident with a moving truck company outside his home in Florida?

“He screws up one time, he’s gone,” Arians told Peter King at the time.

Well, in the stress-riddled COVID-19 age in which we live right now, where does faking a vaccination card and putting an entire NFL team at risk of dangerous illness and potentially forfeiting games fall on the “screw-up” meter?

Apparently not far enough up the gauge for Arians, who sadly exposed himself as a sellout by allowing this knucklehead back onto the team.

Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown
Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown
Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“It’s in the best interest of our football team,” Arians told reporters of the return of Brown and Edwards, who also had been suspended over a forged vaccination card, after the Bucs lost, 9-0, to the Saints last week. “Both of those guys have served their time, and we’ll welcome them back.”

What a disgrace.

Neither player will face additional discipline from the team, though there are potential repercussions for both players in terms of federal prosecution — because it’s a third-degree felony to manufacture, possess or display a fake vaccination card.

This is where the NFL should have stepped in. The league should never have left this in the hands of the Buccaneers.

The NFL, after all, seems to stick its powerful paws into just about every other violation and turn itself into the judge and jury. Where were its strong-arm tactics this time?

A player gets caught smoking a joint and the league might bounce him for six games. Brown and Edwards put their entire team, not to mention opposing players, in serious jeopardy, and they got a three-game slap on the wrist from their employer, which then welcomed them back with open arms because it needs them.

Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians
Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians
Getty Images

The Buccaneers (10-4), by the way, are in such need of an idiot like Brown that they’re about to clinch the NFC South with their eyes closed. They lead the division by three games with three to play.

This entire ordeal is a bad joke. Shame on Arians and the Bucs and shame on the NFL for allowing this to happen. Brown, based on his sordid track record and this unforgivable vax card violation, should have been suspended for the rest of the year by the NFL. At a minimum.

If you happen to find yourself watching the Buccaneers play the Panthers on Sunday and you see Brown make a catch and preen like a diva afterward and you feel a little bit sick to your stomach, you won’t be alone.