Lamar Jackson seems into playing with Antonio Brown

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Antonio Brown wants to play with Lamar Jackson.

The sentiment seems mutual.

Three weeks after very publicly quitting his job with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Brown was busy lobbying for his next gig on Monday. The veteran receiver made his pitch on the "I am athlete" podcast, telling Brandon Marshall that he wants to play with the Baltimore Ravens quarterback.

"Lamar Jackson," Brown said when asked who's next. "Action Jackson. Let’s give Lamar Jackson his flowers. … Lamar Jackson is a great quarterback."

Lamar Jackson is a great quarterback. He already has his flowers in the form of an NFL MVP trophy. Unless Brown is suggesting here that he represents the flowers in his proposed transaction. Which, yeah. That's probably it.

Lamar Jackson responds

But it makes sense that Brown — or any receiver, really — would want to play with him. But does Jackson want to play with the perpetual bridge burner who's left chaos in his wake at each of his NFL stops?

The answer appears to be ... yes?

Jackson responded to video of Brown's declaration on Twitter with a purple smiling devil emoji, which of course, can only be read as a full-throated endorsement of Brown's pitch with no room for interpretation. Right?

Will Brown play in the NFL next season?

Regardless of how plausible Brown's proposal is, one thing is clear. If he's healthy, available and capable of performing at the level he's accustomed to, teams will come calling this offseason.

Multiple accusations of rape and sexual misconduct didn't scare the NFL off. Neither did a no-contest plea on a felony burglary conveyance charge. The Bucs welcomed him back after an accusation that he obtained a fake COVID-19 vaccine card in violation of NFL rules and federal law led to a three-game league suspension. This was after head coach Bruce Arians declared: "He screws up one time, he’s gone."

And don't forget the chaos Brown sowed with the Steelers and Raiders, the latter of which gave up on him before he played a down in silver and black.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 03: Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers receiver Antonio Brown attends the game between the Brooklyn Nets and the Memphis Grizzlies in the second half at Barclays Center on January 03, 2022 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Brooklyn Nets 118-104.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Antonio Brown, Baltimore Raven? (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Only when Brown's ability to help the Bucs on the field came into question this season did Arians lose his patience. It was the same story in Pittsburgh, New England and Oakland before Tampa. Franchises were ready to deal with the downside Brown offers until his production on the field was jeopardized.

And Brown's upside appears to still be there. At 33 and coming off what he claims is a serious ankle injury, he doesn't offer the All-Pro form he flashed in Pittsburgh. But he produced in his limited time in Tampa this season, with 42 catches for 545 yards and four touchdowns in seven games. That pace adds up to 102 catches for more than 1,300 yards and roughly 10 touchdowns across a 17-game season.

And that's what some receiver needy teams will almost surely focus on in when considering signing him this offseason. Never mind the likelihood that Brown doesn't come close to a 17-game tally and the seeming inevitability that things will end poorly. In the NFL as in life, sometimes you have just have to learn the hard way.

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