Jerry Rice: Antonio Brown 'badly' wants to play for 49ers

Jerry Rice: Antonio Brown 'badly' wants to play for 49ers

Antonio Brown has a fan — and recruiter — in Jerry Rice.

During his Monday appearance on 95.7 The Game, the Hall of Fame wide receiver suggested that the disgruntled Steelers star is interested in catching passes for the 49ers.

“He wants to come here really badly,” Rice said, via The Mercury News.

It remains uncertain if Brown has a future in Pittsburgh after a rumored feud with his teammates, though the Steelers reportedly have already garnered interest from the Broncos and the 49ers could get in on the bidding as well.

“This guy, man, he’s a totally, complete team player,” Rice said. “I don’t know what happened in Pittsburgh, but I know that this guy, if he comes here to San Francisco, he’s going to do everything possible to help this team to win.”

Brown, 30, led the NFL with 15 touchdown receptions in 2018 but sat out the team’s regular-season finale against the Bengals after a reported blowup with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Pittsburgh missed the playoffs for the first time in five years despite a win over Cincinnati.

Steelers president Art Rooney II — who told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it’s “hard to envision” Brown being with the team come training camp — released a statement last week insisting the organization is open to every option this offseason except for releasing Brown.

“We’ll look at all the options. We’re not going to release him, that’s not on the table. But I will say all other options are on the table,” Rooney said. “Whether the situation can be reconciled and have him back on the team next year, we’re a long way away from thinking that can happen. We’re not closing the door on anything at this point.”

Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders, who was drafted by the Steelers in 2010 and was on the team until 2014, said Sunday there’s “plenty of blame to go around” with the situation, but Brown’s fate is likely sealed.

“When Art Rooney came out and said that, it’s pretty much he’s gone,” Sanders said. “Being around the Pittsburgh Steelers organization, Art Rooney doesn’t say much, but when he says something, he means it.”