Marquise Brown

NFL Expected To Interview Marquise Brown

The unnamed player present when Antonio Brown committed an alleged sexual assault was Ravens rookie Marquise Brown, the cousin of the Patriots’ All-Pro receiver, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. The younger Brown is expected to be interviewed as part of the NFL’s investigation into Britney Taylor’s allegations against Antonio Brown.

Marquise Brown does not face any accusations, but he is the player that was present during one of his cousin’s alleged assaults perpetrated against Taylor in May 2018. Marquise Brown is expected to support his cousin’s stance that no such act occurred, Florio adds. Taylor was scheduled to meet with the NFL on Monday.

That’s not going to be a distraction,” John Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN (on Twitter). “Believe me, it’s the last thing on my mind right now. My focus is on football. If it comes to that, if there is something that needs to be done that way, we have people in the building who look at those things. If they do and I need to be involved in it, I certainly will be.”

Antonio Brown denied Taylor’s allegations and was not placed on the commissioner’s exempt list in advance of Sunday’s game in Miami. With this being a civil matter, the NFL was under no obligation to go in that direction. However, the scope of this situation may change this week after the respective testimonies of Taylor and Marquise Brown. It is not yet known when the latter will speak with the league on this matter.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens’ Marquise Brown Medically Cleared

Marquise Brown‘s stay on the Ravens’ active/PUP list looks to be nearing an end. The first-round wide receiver received medical clearance on Tuesday, Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com tweets.

After passing his conditioning test last week, Brown has since passed his physical. The Oklahoma-produced deep threat has been rehabbing a Lisfranc injury since before the Combine. Brown, who underwent foot surgery in January, is now on track to play in each of Baltimore’s preseason games, Hensley adds (on Twitter).

This is welcome news for a Ravens team that has a few new skill-position contributors around a developing quarterback. John Harbaugh recently said this new Ravens offense will “change the way offensive football is played in the National Football League.” Brown stands to play a major role in that lofty aspiration coming to fruition.

Brown joins Mark Ingram and third-round pick Miles Boykin as key Ravens newcomers. But the former Sooner represents the team’s top offseason investment. He posted two 1,000-yard seasons at Oklahoma and averaged north of 17 yards per catch in each.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Gordon, Daniels, Pats, Succop

After rounding up some news from the NFC earlier tonight, let’s check out the AFC:

  • Chargers GM Tom Telesco says he did offer an extension to RB Melvin Gordon, as Eric Williams of ESPN.com tweets, but there are no reports on how much the offer was worth. Gordon is holding out from camp and was put on the reserve/did not report list.
  • Before the Packers cut Mike Daniels earlier today, they discussed potential trades with the Browns, Patriots, and Chiefs, per Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (video link). Garafolo suggests those teams will continue to pursue Daniels, but at least seven clubs have already been in contact with him.
  • Browns GM John Dorsey confirmed that he met with Duke Johnson‘s new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, on Tuesday, but Dorsey declined to say whether Johnson is still demanding a trade (via Josina Anderson of ESPN.com on Twitter). In related news, Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com reports RB Kareem Hunt will miss the start of training camp with a groin injury, though the injury is not believed to be serious.
  • The Patriots have placed veteran O-lineman Brian Schwenke on the reserve/retired list, per Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Schwenke was taking first-team reps at left guard in the spring, but it sounds as if his career could be over.
  • Jets safety Marcus Maye is on the PUP list after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery, and Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says it’s not a sure thing that Maye will be ready to go by Week 1 (Twitter link). Head coach Adam Gase was non-committal when asked if Maye would miss any regular season action.
  • Titans K Ryan Succop had offseason knee surgery that did not go as well as planned, according to Paul Kuharsky of PaulKuharsky.com. The team has placed Succop on the PUP list, but he is expected to be ready for Week 1 at the latest.
  • Ravens first-round WR Marquise Brown could be getting closer to completing his comeback from a Lisfranc injury. Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com reports that Brown has passed his conditioning test and now needs to pass his physical (Twitter link). Hensley says it would not be surprising to see “Hollywood” on the field next week.

Extra Points: Broncos, Ravens, Hawks, Bears

Emmanuel Sanders avoided the physically unable to perform list and participated in individual work during Broncos practice on Wednesday, and the veteran wideout is likely to be a “full go” within two-to-three weeks, tweets James Palmer of NFL.com. Now 32 years old, Sanders tore his Achilles in a December practice and missed the remainder of the season. Recent reports have indicated he may not be ready for Week 1, but if he’s ready for full practice sessions by mid-August, his availability for the start of the regular season wouldn’t seem to be in question. Sanders will be the most experienced member of a Denver pass-catching unit that also includes Courtland Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Wide receiver Marquise “Hollywood” Brown was among the Ravens placed on the active/non-football-injury list on Thursday, the club announced. Brown actually did suffer his Lisfranc injury playing football, but he’s been placed on NFI because the injury occurred in college, not the NFL. Active/NFI is different from reserve/NFI in that it doesn’t require Brown to miss any games or any specified amount of action. Rather, when he’s healthy enough to practice (which should be in just a few weeks, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com), he’ll be removed from the list. Brown still counts against Baltimore’s 90-man roster while he’s on active/NFI.
  • Seahawks rookie linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven has been placed on the active/physically unable to perform list, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Like active/NFI, active/PUP won’t force Burr-Kirven to miss any time, but the designation is notable because the first-year defender recently underwent sports hernia surgery. An extremely athletic fifth-round pick, BBK is expected to be ready for training camp, per Seattle head coach Pete Carroll.
  • The Bears moved offensive tackle Bradley Sowell to tight end because they believe converted defensive lineman Rashaad Coward can make the transition to offense, as J.J. Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago writes. Not only is Coward expected to complete his transition to the offensive side of the ball, he’s likely to be Chicago’s top swing tackle. He’ll have to beat out NFL journeyman Cornelius Lucas for that role, but he reportedly has the edge at the moment.

Ravens WR Marquise Brown May Not Be Ready For Training Camp

Ravens rookie wide receiver and first-round draft pick Marquise Brown may not be ready for the start of training camp, as Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic writes. Back in May, we learned that training camp was the target for Brown, who is recovering from a Lisfranc injury, but now that seems to be in doubt.

As with most first-round picks, the hope is that Brown will be able to contribute right away, but he is especially important to Baltimore’s offense this year. Prior to the draft, the only truly established wideout that the Ravens were rostering was slot receiver Willie Snead, and though the club will rely heavily on the ground game and its talented tight end group, Brown and third-round draft pick Miles Boykin will be instrumental in the development of second-year QB Lamar Jackson.

Brown is undeniably explosive, and his strong route-running and hands complement his breathtaking speed. However, the Lisfranc ailment and his skinny frame are cause for concern, especially since his debut keeps getting pushed back (before the draft, it was believed he would be ready for minicamp).

The good news is that Brown has not had any setbacks, per head coach John Harbaugh. But until he gets on the field and is showing no ill-effects from his injury, Ravens fans will be antsy.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ravens To Sign First-Round Pick Marquise Brown

The Ravens announced that they’ve verbally agreed to a deal with first-round pick Marquise Brown. In accordance with his slot, the wide receiver will receive a four-year, $11.8MM deal with a $6.6MM signing bonus.

The Ravens have yet to get Brown on the field, but he’s expected to have a big role in the offense once he heals up from his February foot surgery. After the Oklahoma product cracked 1,000 yards receiving with an average of 19.2 yards per catch last year, the Ravens are expecting big things from the man they call “Hollywood.”

There are some concerns about Brown’s durability due to his aforementioned foot malady and his skinny frame, but his speed should allow him to excel from the jump. There was no true consensus on the draft’s top wide receiver this year, but Brown could easily prove to be the best of the bunch.

With Brown (effectively) under contract, that leaves third-round wide receiver Miles Boykin as the lone unsigned player from the Ravens’ draft class.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: CBA, Jets GM Search, Wilkerson, Ravens

Fears of a potential future lockout picked up again earlier this week, when we learned the NFLPA was telling agents to advise their clients to save money in the event of a work stoppage in 2021, when the current CBA expired. Turns out, things might not be so dire after all. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote about that leak, as well as the recent rumors the league would push for an 18-game regular season, and he thinks it’s all performative. La Canfora writes that both sides have to publicly posture, and that “no one wants to give off the air they are rolling over too much.”

La Canfora hears that preliminary negotiations are actually going very well, noting that the NFL and NFLPA “seem more aligned than anytime in recent memory.” In regards to an 18-game schedule or work stoppage, he says he’s “yet to speak to anyone on either side who envisioned either of these scenarios actually playing out.” One source told La Canfora that “everyone involved in this process feels really good about the negotiations.” Interestingly, La Canfora predicts that an “extra playoff game will be added to each conference,” and roster sizes will be expanded when it’s all said and done.

Here’s more from around the league:

  • The Jets’ general manager search continues to barrel on, but a resolution seems increasingly near. Eagles exec Joe Douglas has been viewed as the favorite for a while now, and La Canfora goes even further. In the same piece, La Canfora writes that “sources said there was already some contact between those parties prior to Douglas’ scheduled formal interview, and people in other front offices would be shocked if he does not take this job.” He adds that Douglas “will be the team’s next general manager barring some unforeseen breakdown between the sides.” La Canfora also scoops that if things do unexpectedly go sideways in the negotiations, “then Chicago exec Champ Kelly, who also has a prior relationship with Adam Gase, is viewed as the next in line.”
  • We found out earlier tonight that free agent Muhammad Wilkerson had been arrested and charged with DWI, and now we have more details. Wilkerson admitted to drinking, telling officers he “had one shot and two beers,” per Rebecca Rosenberg and Larry Celona of the New York Post. Wilkerson had some tough luck, as he was just barely over the legal limit. Wilkerson apparently had a BAC of .09, only slightly above the legal limit of .08. It’s unclear if that will help with his potential discipline from the league, but it could potentially earn him some leniency.
  • We have an update on the Ravens’ two rookie wide receivers, courtesy of Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic (Twitter link). First round pick Marquise Brown is still recovering from his Lisfranc foot surgery, and “training camp remains the hope for his return.” Initially the hope was minicamp back in March, but that turned out not to be the case. Meanwhile the Ravens’ third round pick, Miles Boykin, is dealing with a hamstring strain, and Zrebiec writes he “should be getting closer to return.” Boykin and Brown are the only two of the Ravens’ draft picks not to sign yet, although that’s likely not related to their respective injuries. Still, it’s not great that they’re having to miss significant portions of their first offseason.

AFC North Notes: Ravens, Ben, Bengals

Sidelined with a Lisfranc injury that kept him from performing at the Combine, Marquise Brown has resumed running, Jeff Zreibec of the Baltimore Sun tweets. Although Zreibec adds (on Twitter) Brown will miss Ravens OTAs, he is still believed to be in good shape for an on-time debut. A minicamp return was once thought to be a target of Brown’s, the first wide receiver taken in this year’s draft is believed to be ahead of schedule. The Ravens seem to be expecting Brown to be ready by the time their rookies report for training camp. Lisfranc injuries can be quite tricky, so the Ravens showing caution with Brown certainly makes sense. It will be interesting how the Ravens will use the deep threat, considering how their previous long-range target, John Brown, saw his production hit a wall after Lamar Jackson took the reins last season.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Ben Roethlisberger did not opt to gather Steelers skill-position players together for private workouts in recent years, but that changed recently. The 16th-year quarterback brought several Steelers weapons, including JuJu Smith-Schuster and James Conner, to his lake house in Georgia for some on-field work, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. This figures to be an interesting offseason for Roethlisberger, who will be working with a younger (and less proven) receiver cast after Antonio Brown‘s ugly departure.
  • The Bengals likely will again turn to Giovani Bernard as Joe Mixon‘s top backup, but the team did add two running backs in the sixth round — Trayveon Williams and a former college backfield stablemate of Mixon’s in Rodney Anderson. The Oklahoma product is coming off an ACL tear that marred his final Sooners season. Anderson, who tore the ligament in September of last year, will not participate in Cincinnati’s offseason program but is expected to be ready by the start of training camp, Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes. Anderson left Oklahoma early despite the injury and comes to western Ohio after a litany of maladies. Prior to the ACL tear, he suffered a broken leg, a neck injury that nullified his 2016 season and ankle tendon damage. But Anderson led the Sooners with 1,161 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017.
  • On the subject of reserve running backs, Kenneth Dixon‘s Ravens role may be in jeopardy. The team added Mark Ingram in free agency and drafted Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill in the fourth round. The Baltimore backfield houses holdovers in Dixon and Gus Edwards, but Zreibec writes (subscription required) the older player is the more likely player to be the odd man out. Injuries and suspensions have marred the 2016 fourth-round pick’s career. Dixon did average 5.6 yards per carry on 60 totes last season.

Ravens Notes: Second Round, Brown, Burns

The Ravens will have a pair of third-rounders this evening, but the team currently doesn’t own a second-round pick. It sounds like it’s going to stay that way, as general manager Eric DeCosta said it’s unlikely the team moves up.

“We look at today as an awesome opportunity for this team to get better,” DeCosta said (via the team’s Twitter). “We’ve got two picks at this time, you never know if we’re going to have more than two picks. We’ve got a bunch of picks tomorrow afternoon.

“There’s a possibility that we can trade up into the second round. Probably unlikely that we would do that based on what we’d have to give up to do it.”

The Athletic’s Jeff Zrebiec tweets that he wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens end up making a trade to move up in the third round, where they’re currently armed with picks No. 85 and No. 102. The front office has already pulled off one deal during the draft, as the Ravens acquired No. 25, No. 127, and No. 197 from the Eagles in exchange for No. 22.

Let’s check out some more notes out of Baltimore…

  • Even though the team doesn’t have a second, that doesn’t seem to be concerning DeCosta. The general manager told ESPN’s Jamison Hensley that he’s excited about the depth in the third and fourth rounds (Twitter link). “I think this is a really, really good draft in the third and fourth round,” GM Eric DeCosta said. “We see great opportunity for us over the next couple of days.” Baltimore has three fourth-rounders at their disposal.
  • Zrebiec writes that the Ravens would have loved to add a pass rusher last night. However, once Brian Burns was taken by the Panthers at No. 16, the front office felt like none of the remaining outside linebackers had first-round grades. That led them to wideout Marquise Brown, although DeCosta took a risk of missing out on his target by moving down a few slots. “We were nervous to be honest. I was a little bit nervous that Philly might take (Brown), but it’s a calculated risk,” DeCosta said. “We had some other players that were there that we liked. You know we like to make trades. It made sense to gamble, to roll the dice a little bit, so we did.”
  • The Ravens final decision ultimately came down to Brown or Florida right tackle Jawaan Taylor, according to Zrebiec. If the team had opted for the offensive lineman, they would have moved him to offensive guard. Taylor wasn’t taken during the first-round of the draft.
  • As Zrebiec writes, the Ravens front office doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to first-round receivers, as Travis Taylor (2000), Mark Clayton (2005) and Breshad Perriman (2015) all disappointed. Predictably, DeCosta said the team’s history didn’t deter him from selecting a wideout with his first draft pick as general manager. “In my mind, this is one of the more electric players in college football this year, so we spent a lot of time looking at him and watching him,” DeCosta said.

Draft Notes: Jones, Brown, Bills, Raiders

Beyond Kyler Murray‘s long-rumored Cardinals fit, landing spots for this draft’s other top quarterbacks are difficult to determine. But Daniel Jones, despite not exactly having impressive college statistics, has gained more steam as a first-round pick. One team has the Duke prospect as the top quarterback on its board, according to Yahoo.com’s Charles Robinson (on Twitter). The Giants are believed to be high on him. So are the Patriots. While one scout wondered (via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com) if the former Blue Devils signal-caller would slip to the third round had he not played under David Cutcliffe, who coached both Manning brothers when they were college passers, another scout and a former GM said (via NBC Sports Washington’s Ben Standig) they each would take Jones over Drew Lock. It certainly looks Jones will land in the first round next week.

Here is the latest from the 2019 draft talent pool:

  • Another first-round hopeful, Marquise Brown, also looks like a lock to hear his name called Thursday. The Oklahoma-honed speedster may be the only guaranteed wideout to go off the board in Round 1, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report notes, after speaking with NFL staffers. Said execs then place Ole Miss alums D.K. Metcalf and A.J. Brown as possible first-rounders, per Miller. That would stand to make the second round potentially filled with receiver investments. The 49ers have some names in mind.
  • On the subject of the 49ers, they visited with tight end Noah Fant recently, per Sirius XM Radio’s Alex Marvez (on Twitter). This profiles as an interesting use of a visit, with the 49ers closely connected to Nick Bosa at No. 2 and not needing a tight end. But San Francisco did do well with its past Iowa investment at this position, with George Kittle breaking out in a major way in 2018.
  • Despite Rashan Gary‘s past as a top-10 national recruit and his Combine performance, another report has indicated his stock has dipped a bit. After a Thursday report pointed to the Michigan defensive lineman dropping, Miller adds teams are concerned about how little his athleticism translated to production (9.5 sacks in three seasons). Additionally, Miller doubles down on the medical concerns surrounding Gary. Some scouts believe there will be issues on that front, potentially with Gary’s shoulder, which was a trouble spot during his Wolverines run.
  • Ed Oliver‘s stock has risen a bit in the days leading up to the draft, and the Bills are in play for the interior defender at No. 9, Miller writes, adding Buffalo wants to add a bona fide interior pass-rushing presence to complement the space-eating defensive tackles it currently employs.
  • The Raiders ditched their scouting staff going into the draft and are expected to overhaul the department under new GM Mike Mayock. On draft weekend, Oakland’s non-Mayock/Jon Gruden staffers involved in the three-day event will be assistant director of player personnel Trey Scott and director of football administration Tom Delaney, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Delaney has been with the Raiders dating back to the first Gruden era; Scott rose to his current position under Reggie McKenzie‘s watch two years ago.