Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver A.J. Brown said that he meant it when he tweeted earlier this year about trying to play baseball for the San Diego Padres.
While Brown was still under contract with the Tennessee Titans in January, he tweeted the following about potentially being a dual-sport star like Bo Jackson:
Most assumed Brown was joking, but in an interview with Martin Frank of the Delaware News Journal this week, the star wideout clarified his stance at the time, saying: "I was dead serious. [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."
The 25-year-old Brown starred in both football and baseball as a high schooler in Mississippi, and he signed with the Padres after they selected him in the 19th round of the 2016 MLB draft, although he has exclusively focused on football since then.
At the time of his tweet, Brown was unhappy with his contract situation in Tennessee, but things were rectified in April when he was traded to Philly and signed a new deal.
That essentially put a stop to any talk of Brown trying to play for the Padres in 2022, as Brown divulged that the Padres told him he would have to be all-in if he was going to play for them: "They were telling me if I'm [still] going to play football, then I can't play baseball. I can't just play around with [baseball]. So it kind of killed my chances for the moment."
The decision to play football has paid off for Brown thus far, however. He was a second-round pick in 2019 out of Ole Miss and earned one Pro Bowl selection in his three seasons with the Titans.
He is also off to a hot start during his first season in Philadelphia, racking up 15 receptions for 224 yards in two games.
While Brown has clearly chosen the right career path, he isn't completely closing the door on trying to make it in Major League Baseball one day, saying: "Who knows? Maybe when I'm done playing football, I'll go play baseball."
Few athletes have enjoyed success in both the NFL and MLB. Of the several men who played in both leagues, Jackson and Deion Sanders are perhaps the only ones who experienced a significant measure of success in both.
Brown is an elite-level athlete who may have the potential to thrive as a baseball player, but as long as he continues to establish himself as one of the NFL's premier wideouts, it is difficult to envision him changing his career path.