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AJ Brown Was ‘Dead Serious’ About Playing Baseball for Padres

The Eagles nearly missed out on trading for wide receiver AJ Brown this past offseason, but not because of interest from another team. At least not another NFL team. 

In the months leading up the Eagles’ draft night trade with the Titans, Brown revealed that he considered stepping away from football entirely and pursuing another one of his passions: baseball.

“I was dead serious,” Brown told The News Journal about playing baseball. “[The Padres] had reached out to me. They were about to invite me to spring training. They were just waiting on an answer from me.”

As he grew increasingly frustrated with Tennessee about contract extension negotiations, Brown caused quite a stir on Twitter when he retweeted a post about the great Bo Jackson, who played both football and baseball during the 1990s.

“Sometimes i think about playing both sports again,” he wrote. “@Padres all I need is a workout.”

The Padres drafted Brown in the 19th round, 564th overall, in the 2016 MLB draft before he attended Ole Miss to play football. He went onto become a star receiver for the Rebels, which led the Titans to select him in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft.

According to Brown, San Diego was willing to give him that chance at this year’s spring training. However, once he was dealt to the Eagles on the night of the 2022 NFL draft, he explained that the Padres weren’t interested in him playing both sports.

“They were telling me if I’m [still] going to play football, then I can’t play baseball,” Brown said. “I can’t just play around with [baseball]. So it kind of killed my chances for the moment.”

Brown has already made his mark in the NFL, having made the 2020 Pro Bowl and catching 24 touchdowns in his first three years in the league. Though football remains his principal passion, he doesn’t want to rule out playing baseball later in life.

“Who knows?” Brown added. “Maybe when I’m done playing football, I’ll go play baseball.”

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