Antonio Brown said he was retiring, then retracted such a sentiment earlier this month. At least one star quarterback hopes his next step will be to sign with a team -- his team.
Ravens signal-caller Lamar Jackson spent a little bit of his offseason training with Brown, the wideout who was once considered to be the best in the NFL but has since seen his way out of the league altogether. The reigning NFL MVP told reporters Wednesday he still dreams of throwing to A.B., but while wearing purple and black.
"It was nice throwing to Antonio Brown [this offseason]," Jackson said, via ESPN's Jamison Hensley. "I was hoping we would get him. I'm still hoping -- a little bit."
Brown has had plenty of off-field issues since he last took an NFL field. Brown played one game as a member of the Patriots in September before he was cut after sending intimidating texts to a woman who accused the receiver of making past unwanted advances toward her. The intimidation accusation is one of several off-field incidents for which the NFL is investigating Brown. The league is also probing civil allegations of sexual assault and rape against Brown. In addition, the wideout pleaded no contest earlier in June to burglary and battery charges stemming from a January incident in Florida.
Despite Brown's off-field troubles, Jackson came away impressed by the person he got to know when they met to work on their craft.
"Around us, he's a great guy. He's cool, down-to-earth guy," Jackson said. "He's passionate about the sport of football. He was working and you can tell ... he's going to go 24/7. Prior to the workout, he lifted. We go out there, throwing routes, and after that, he lifted some more. I was like, 'there's no quit in this guy.'
"He's the type of guy we need in our locker room and I feel like the locker room here is different from any other locker room. It's a brotherhood going on ... none of that outside noise. We worry about each other, we worry about what we have going on. We want to win. I can tell in him he wants to win, We want to play ball."
Might Baltimore be the ideal situation for Brown to return to football? Only time will tell, and with Brown's recent past, it would be a gamble for any team interested in adding him to the roster with the risk of disrupting locker room chemistry. Still, a quarterback will always be open to adding another weapon for him to target. Jackson's interest is only natural.