If there’s one thing that we know about the NFL, it is that talent, if legally and socially permitted, will provide for opportunities no matter the offense. Cut for the third time since 2019, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is hoping to catch on with his fifth team for the 2022 season—and he has a familiar destination in mind.
No, it’s not Pittsburgh, for those who may have gotten excited—and for those who may have gotten a panic attack. But it is close. For not the first time, the potential future Hall of Famer recently courted the Baltimore Ravens as a potential landing spot.
Brown recently appeared on the I Am Athlete podcast, hosted by former NFL wide receiver Brandon Marshall. At one point during his appearance, he was asked what was next for him in terms of where he wants to be next and who he wants to play with next. “Lamar Jackson” was his unrehearsed, immediate response.
“Let’s give Lamar Jackson his flowers”, he said. “Lamar Jackson is a great quarterback, not only him throwing the ball, the dynamic of him playing, the excitement”, he added, was part of the attraction of playing with the 2019 unanimous MVP.
The Ravens have his cousin, Marquise Brown, as their number one wide receiver, and they have a close relationship with quarterback Lamar Jackson. A couple of years back, Jackson and Marquise were even courting him to come to Baltimore, enough that it spawned an article or two on the team’s own website. And a few here, as well.
Obviously that didn’t happen, and he ended up signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, reuniting with, from different parts of his career, former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and Steelers offensive coordinator Bruce Arians, who was and remains the head coach there.
Brown won a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay last year. This past season, he essentially walked off the job in-game, although there is a degree of a lack of clarity in just how everything played out. He himself contends that he was not physically able to play, and claims that Arians essentially fired him on the sideline when he told his coach he couldn’t go.
This was toward the end of an hour-long podcast, and I quite frankly have zero interest in listening to the man talk for an hour—I did hear him at one point talk about “libergation”, by which he meant liberation. But it is a relevant story if he’s trying to get himself to Baltimore, which is not impossible.
The Ravens attempted 611 passes this season, and that’s with Jackson missing six games, an average of 36 attempts per game. That’s a marked leap from 25.4 the year before, and 27.5 the year before that, so the idea of him not getting enough targets, which was an original concern about his potential trip to Baltimore, isn’t as big of an issue.