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Buccaneersu00a0coachu00a0Bruce Arians says Antonio Brown has ‘matured’ for second chance

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Bruce Arians said wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is currently serving an eight-game suspension for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, has “matured” and that quarterback Tom Brady wasn’t responsible for his recruitment. Brown agreed to a one-year contract with the Bucs on Friday, according to ESPN.

Brown previously signed with the New England Patriots last year before being released after one game following a Sports Illustrated report that he sent threatening text messages to a woman who had accused Brown of sexual misconduct.

Arians noted that injuries opened up the opportunity to sign Brown after bypassing on signing the seven-time Pro Bowler in March, when he said Brown was “not a fit in our locker room.”

“I think he’s matured, and I believe in second chances,” Arians told reporters Sunday. “Everybody wants to say that Tom (Brady) picked him. Tom didn’t have anything to do with it. This was something (Bucs general manager) Jason (Licht) and I had been talking (about) for a couple weeks, ever since the injuries to our other guys. When the time was right, would we see if we could pull the trigger and fit him in to what we want to get done? And we’ll see. If Antonio does what I think he’s gonna do, I think he’s gonna be fine.”

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Brady told reporters Sunday that he sees Brown as a “tremendous football player” and that he’s “looking forward to working with him again.” The earliest Brown could be available is Nov. 9 against the New Orleans Saints as long as he passes COVID-19 testing and completes his suspension without any more punishment.

Brown was accused by two women of sexual misconduct in 2019. In a civil lawsuit filed last September, Brown’s former trainer said he sexually assaulted her on three separate occasions. A female artist also told Sports Illustrated that when she was painting a portrait in Brown’s Pennsylvania home in 2017, Brown acted inappropriately by appearing naked in a conversation. 

“I think you just let the court system do its job,” Arians told reporters when asked about what he would tell female fans about adding Brown. “Allegations – I’ve been around a lot of players that have had allegations that weren’t true, some were – so let the court system handle it. If it’s found out to be true, he won’t be with us.”

The NFL also investigated Brown for an alleged domestic dispute in January 2019. In that incident, Hollywood (Florida) Police Department did not make an arrest.

This past April, Brown was charged with attacking a delivery truck driver. He pleaded no contest to a felony burglary with battery charge.

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