In Lamar Jackson’s first media availability of the 2020 season on Wednesday, he was his typical laid-back and humorous self.
He spoke candidly, gave team-first answers and was an excellent sound-bite for anyone looking for a few quick quotes. So naturally, he was open about Antonio Brown, too.
Yesterday, Jackson said that Brown was a great guy during workouts together in Florida and even went as far to say that the Ravens “need” a guy like that in their locker room.
So a day later, coach John Harbaugh was asked about his quarterback’s comments, as well as what he thinks of bringing in the troubled former All-Pro receiver.
“I respect him for feeling that way, I respect his opinion on it, definitely appreciate hearing how that workout went — it was a long time ago, now,” Harbaugh said on a Zoom call with reporters. “But any players, we’ll look at any and every player at all times. Antonio Brown is no exception. Decisions will be made based on whatever they’re made on.”
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While no one disputes Brown’s on-field talents, it’s his off-the-field issues that have kept him away from an NFL organization in the last year.
Brown has been accused by of rape and sexual misconduct by former trainer Britney Taylor, and additionally, on June 12 of this year, Brown pleaded no contest to felony burglary of a vehicle, misdemeanor battery, and misdemeanor criminal mischief.
In a football sense, he was also said to have quit on his teammates in Pittsburgh before his tenure ended there, and his helmet fiasco in Oakland last year drew criticism and confusion.
On the field, Brown is one of the premier talents in football. He’s a seven-time Pro Bowler and a four-time First-Team All-Pro. From 2013-2018, he posted six straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving. He averaged 119 catches, 1,590 yards and 12 touchdowns on a 16-game average in that stretch.
In 2019, a trade to Oakland followed by his release and then a lone game played in New England mirrored a turbulent year on the field as well as off it for the standout wide receiver.
Even if the Ravens were to bring in the talented, and troubled, wide receiver, it’s unclear if he would be an option for them in 2020. He is currently under league investigation for Personal Conduct Policy violations — but hopes to have a resolution on if he’ll be eligible soon.
“I don’t think he’s really available to even sign right now, so it’s not really a conversation that you have until he’s available to sign,” Harbaugh said. “Maybe I’m wrong about that, that’s something I’ll have to ask (general manager) Eric (DeCosta) about where that stands with the league and the player. But that’s where we stand on it. At least from my perspective.”
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