AB says he's grateful to be back in football

3:47 PM ET

TAMPA, Fla. — Speaking to the media for the first time since signing with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, wide receiver Antonio Brown expressed gratitude Wednesday for the opportunity to rejoin a team after a year-and-a-half away from football.

“Being away from the game for a year-and-a-half, just to be able to be part of the process, to be out there with the guys today, was surreal, something I don’t take for granted, something I have a great appreciation for, a better perspective about,” Brown said.

Brown said that he’s missed the allure of games and awards that come with being one of the top receivers in the NFL, but he tried to use his time away productively.

“I took a lot of time off from the game to reevaluate myself, to look within, to get a better perspective of myself, of working on myself within and without,” said Brown, who was a four-time first-team All-Pro with Pittsburgh.

The Bucs are Brown’s fourth team in 20 months. He was just reinstated by the league after an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Brown, 32, is currently on probation for felony burglary with battery charges

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