At the start of the Baltimore Ravens training camp, Lamar Jackson is still holding his fingers crossed for the team to sign Antonio Brown, a mercury All-Pro receiver.
“I was hoping we would get it,” Jackson said on Wednesday. “I still hope – a little bit.”
In April, Jackson worked with Brown, the Hollywood Brown of the Ravens’ first cousin Marquise. Jackson later said he would be “happy” if Baltimore signed a seven-time Pro Bowl expansion.
On Wednesday, Jackson reiterated his position on Antonio Brown.
“We want to win, and I can tell in it [that] he wants to win, ”Jackson said. – He wants to play ball.
Ravens officials never showed any public interest in Brown and tried several times to disguise the situation when asked about Brown, without even mentioning his name in his answers. In April, Ravens CEO Eric DeCosta said he would keep his thoughts on Brown “inside”. May. DeCosta named every player in the Ravens player skill position when, before adding to the team’s interest in Brown, he asked, “We’re glad for those guys.”
Brown’s addition doesn’t seem to matter, as it would mean a fundamental change in Baltimore’s philosophy. Since 2015 Owner Steve Bisciotti said Ravens had moved away from players with domestic violence in the past. It’s a policy stemming from a situation with former runaway Ray Rice, who was cut off after a video was made public of him beating his future wife.
Brown had a lawsuit from a former coach alleging she had been sexually assaulted several times. He was also charged with sexual abuse in his home by an artist who worked there in 2017.
Last week, Brown wrote an Instagram post saying he wanted to play in the NFL again and urging the league to resolve its investigation.
Jackson said he never had a problem with Brown.
“I just feel like he was a great guy around us,” Jackson said. “You don’t see anything going on at all. He’s a cool, earthly guy. He’s passionate about football.”
Last season, Jackson was the unified NFL MVP leader in the Ravens League to a top 14-2 record. However, the Ravens have one of the youngest wide receiver groups in the NFL. Eight of the 10 Baltimore receivers are 25 or younger and none are older than 27 years.
Brown, 32, was the most productive NFL recipient in 2013–2018, leading the catch league (686), yard catches (9,145) and landing catches (67). But he didn’t play in the NFL game since the New England patriots released him after a 2-week victory in Miami in September.
In their casting session, Jackson was impressed by Brown’s work ethic. According to Jackson, Brown lifted weights before and after the workout.
“Don’t throw it away,” Jackson said. “This is the guy we need in the closet. I feel like the closet here is different than in any other closet. There’s a fraternity going on. No outside noise. It’s strictly inside.”