Orlando Brown

Ravens’ Orlando Brown Exploring Trades

Orlando Brown‘s left tackle-or-bust quest has led the three-year Ravens starter to request a trade. The Ravens are listening to offers for the 24-year-old blocker, and Brown’s camp is now looking into potential destinations.

Brown’s representatives have begun exploring trades, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, who adds the Ravens are aware of their right tackle’s plans (Twitter link). However, the Ravens certainly represent the key party here. They are surely looking for a high-value trade haul.

Ronnie Stanley‘s season-ending injury prompted the Ravens to use Brown as their left tackle. Previously, Brown had operated as Baltimore’s tackle starter opposite Stanley. A former third-round pick, Brown has one season remaining on his rookie contract.

Pro Football Focus has viewed Brown as a top-25 tackle in each of the past two seasons, and proven O-linemen annually command tremendous interest as free agents. There figure to be several teams interest in acquiring Brown via trade. The Ravens having extended Stanley last year will cut off a Brown path to left tackle in Baltimore, but as of now, the second-generation NFL tackle remains the team’s right tackle.

Trading Brown would further deplete Baltimore’s offensive line. Marshal Yanda‘s retirement created a void inside for the Ravens, who now have Stanley coming off a major injury. Though, the Ravens making a deal would secure additional draft capital with which to bolster their O-line.

If the Ravens trade Brown, the acquiring team would need to be prepared to give him a high-end extension. A 2022 franchise tag could also be utilized, by either the Ravens or the acquiring team, to lock down Brown. Stanley, David Bakhtiari and 2019 trade acquisition Laremy Tunsil have changed the market at left tackle. Tunsil and Bakhtiari have pushed it beyond $22MM annually. The top right tackle contract (Lane Johnson‘s) averages $18MM per year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Rumors: Ravens, Crowder, Chiefs, Pats

Orlando Brown has issued an unusual ultimatum to the Ravens: move him full-time to left tackle or trade him. But with the team just extending one of the best left tackles in football, Ronnie Stanley, accommodating Brown on a position move is a non-starter. Baltimore, however, is listening on offers for its three-year right tackle, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes (subscription required). The Ravens will certainly want a big haul for their contract-year edge protector. However, the new CBA further protecting teams against holdouts will limit Brown’s options, and the Ravens already have questions up front. Their strength at tackle somewhat offsets issues inside, but dealing Brown would further weaken a line that lost some punch after Marshal Yanda‘s retirement.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Jamison Crowder‘s six touchdowns led the Jets last season, and he added a passing TD in one of the team’s two wins. The veteran slot receiver is by far Sam Darnold‘s most proven weapon, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes Crowder is vulnerable to cap-casualty status because of his team-high $11.4MM cap number. With Crowder’s $10MM salary not guaranteed in the final year of his deal, cutting him would free up eight figures in cap space for the Jets. While this would create another skill-position need for a team with numerous deficiencies, there will be several starter-caliber receivers available. It is not like the Jets need cap space, with only the Jaguars holding more, but Crowder predates GM Joe Douglas‘ arrival. He could soon join a loaded free agent receiver class.
  • The University of Tennessee offered Chiefs linebackers coach Matt House its defensive coordinator job, but House turned down the Volunteers, according to Dan Graziano of ESPN.com (on Twitter). House has been with the Chiefs for two years, coming to Kansas City after a three-year stay as the University of Kentucky. He was the Wildcats’ DC for two of those slates.
  • Titans wide receiver A.J. Brown is recovering from surgery on both knees, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com tweets. While this certainly sounds serious, NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo tweets these operations were minor. Brown missed early-season time with knee trouble but returned before the midway point and made his first Pro Bowl.
  • Former Dolphins quarterbacks coach Bo Hardegree will join the Patriots‘ staff, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This comes after 2020 Pats QBs coach Jedd Fisch agreed to become head coach at the University of Arizona. Hardegree spent the past five years in the AFC East, working under Adam Gase at each stop. Hardegree, 36, also worked with the Broncos and Bears under Gase, beginning his NFL run in 2014.

Ravens’ Orlando Brown Requests Trade

Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown wants out (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Brown recently went public with his desire to play left tackle, and he now says that he’ll only play for a team that will let him play his preferred position. 

Brown did a solid job filling in for Ronnie Stanley in 2020, reaffirming his desire to stay at LT. For most of his career, Brown has played on the opposite side, but he says that his father — former NFL player Orlando Brown — always wanted him to be stationed on the left.

“It’s never been about the money,” Brown wrote. “I’m so appreciative for this organization and all my teammates. I couldn’t thank [GM Eric] DeCosta enough, he’s an incredible football mind and one the best men I know. I want to live out the dream my dad had for me.”

The Ravens furnished Stanley with a five-year, $98.8MM extension in October, so there’s no real room for Brown to get his way in Baltimore. Plenty of teams would be happy to appease the 2018 third-round pick, however. Brown has made the Pro Bowl in each of his last two seasons and, at 6’8″ and 345 pounds, he doesn’t back down from anyone on the edge.

Even with Brown in the picture, the Ravens still need help up front. If the Ravens move the 24-year-old for draft picks, it’s safe to assume that some of that capital will go towards OL reinforcements.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Ravens OL Orlando Brown Jr.

Orlando Brown Jr. has established himself as one of the most versatile offensive tackles in the entire league, but the Ravens lineman is making it clear that he only wants to play one position. Per Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com, Brown Jr. recently took to Twitter to declare “I’m a LEFT tackle.”

Brown clarified that his father, former NFL player Orlando Brown, always wanted his son to be a left tackle in the NFL. Brown Jr. had a chance to play some of the position in 2020, but he’s traditionally played on the right side. Considering incumbent Ravens left tackle Ronnie Stanley should be fully healthy next season, Brown Jr. seemed to insinuate that he may have to move on in order to achieve his father’s dream.

“It’s never been about the money,” Brown wrote. “I’m so appreciative for this organization and all my teammates. I couldn’t thank [GM Eric] DeCosta enough, he’s a incredible football mind and one the best men I know. I want to live out the dream my dad had for me.”

The 2018 third-round pick has spent his entire career in Baltimore, starting 42 of his 48 games. He earned a Pro Bowl appearance as a right tackle in 2019, and he garnered another nod in 2020 while splitting time between left and right tackle. His versatility was required following an injury to Stanley, but the organization recently gave the fellow lineman a hefty five-year, $98.75MM contract. There’s little chance the front office moves on from Stanley following that kind of commitment, meaning Brown Jr. likely won’t have an opportunity to play left tackle in Baltimore.

If Brown Jr. heavily values the position he plays, that could be very relevant when the lineman hits free agency following the 2021 season. The Ravens could look to move on from the 24-year-old if they believe he’s a flight risk, and they also might not want to deal with a disgruntled player as they make another push toward a championship next season.

Ravens Hope To Re-Up Mark Andrews

The Ravens aren’t just focused on a new deal for Lamar Jackson. The Ravens also hope to extend Mark Andrews‘ contract this offseason, GM Eric DeCosta says (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). 

Mark Andrews, in my opinion, is one of the best TEs in the NFL. We’d be foolish to not try and keep him,” DeCosta said. “Those discussions will start up at some point.”

Andrews, 25, turned in a solid encore to his 2019 Pro Bowl season. In 2020, he reeled in 58 grabs for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. Over the course of three pro years, he’s got 156 catches, 2,105 yards, and 20 TDs to his credit. As one of the Ravens’ 2018 third-round picks, he’ll be extension eligible for the first time. The same goes for fellow ’18 third-rounder Orlando Brown, though DeCosta acknowledged that the tackle might not get a re-up due to their cap situation.

Morgan Cox, who has served as the Ravens’ long snapper for eleven years, will also be a victim of the numbers crunch. The four-time Pro Bowler tells Zrebiec that he will not be re-signed after his contract lapses in March.

Obviously, I’m certainly disappointed that I won’t be back with the Ravens next year,” Cox said. “I take a lot of pride in what we’ve accomplished there. All of that to say, rather than be frustrated or disappointed on this end, which would be easy to fall into, I’m really just thankful that it happened. I am sad that it’s over, but I’m also eternally happy that it happened.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Signings: Patriots, Ravens, Raiders

Here’s a look at today’s non-first round draft signings:

  • The Patriots signed second-round cornerback Duke Dawson. The Pats moved around quite a bit on draft weekend, including a trade up fro No. 63 to No. 56 to select Dawson. As shown on Roster Resource, the Florida product figures to be one of the team’s primary backups to starters Jonathan Jones and Stephon Gilmore, along with veteran Jason McCourty. Dawson’s deal is worth $4.7MM over four years, as dictated by his draft slot.
  • The Ravens signed third-round tackle Orlando Brown. Per the terms of his slot, Brown will receive a four-year, $3.491MM deal. Tight end Mark Andrews, who was Brown’s teammate at Oklahoma and also selected in the third round, has also inked his deal. As of this writing, the Ravens have just two unsigned picks in first round selections Hayden Hurst and Lamar Jackson.
  • The Raiders signed two draft picks today: Michigan defensive tackle Maurice Hurst (fifth round) and Oklahoma State wide receiver Marcell Ateman (seventh). Five of their nine picks now under contract, as shown on PFR’s tracker. From a talent perspective, Hurst was viewed as one of the top interior defensive linemen in the draft, but heart issues caused him to fall. The Michigan product will join fellow rookie Arden Key on the defensive line, giving the Raiders a double dose of young boom-or-bust talent.

Draft Notes: McGlinchey, Edmunds, R. Smith

The 2018 offensive tackle class is setting up to underwhelm, as Tony Pauline of DraftAnalyst.net observes in his latest look at this year’s prospects. So far, most NFL clubs only rate one tackle — Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey — as worthy of a first-round pick, and given that he may be the only available tackle capable of starting on day one, his stock figures to rise even more as draft day approaches. Meanwhile, Orlando Brown (Oklahoma) is viewed as a right tackle, while Connor Williams (Texas) is only on some teams’ guard boards. Further down the list, Western Michigan’s Chukwuma Okorafor, Pittsburgh’s Brian O’Neill, and UCLA’s Kolton Miller are considered Day 2 selections, while Martinas Rankin (Mississippi State) isn’t believed to be a left tackle at the pro level, per Pauline.

Here’s more on the 2018 draft, all courtesy of Pauline:

  • With NFL teams searching for athletic linebackers, Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Teach) and Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State) are likely to come off the board earlier than many expect, according to Pauline. In fact, Edmunds is rising up draft boards so quickly that he may become a top-12 selection. However, the scouting combine will prove to be an important test for Edmunds, per Pauline, who says the former Hokie lacks “quick change-of-direction skills.” Vander Esch, meanwhile, is being compared to former Bears linebacker and 2018 Hall of Famer Brian Urlacher, and most clubs believe he can be a three-down defender.
  • While Edmund and Vander Esch are drawing rave reviews, fellow linebacker Roquan Smith is trending in the other direction, reports Pauline. Given that the pass game now dominates the pro ranks, Smith’s problems playing man coverage against opposing running backs and tight ends could prove troublesome. However, Pauline says Smith can be effective when used in zone coverage, which should make the Georgia product viable for a good number of NFL teams.
  • Wake Forest edge rusher Duke Ejiofor underwent surgery for a torn labrum in late January, but Pauline doesn’t believe the operation will affect Ejiofor’s draft stock. Projected as a Day 2 pick, Ejiofor is expected to run a 4.75 40-yard dash despite sitting at nearly 270 pounds. Scouts are impressed by Ejiofor’s “explosiveness, power, and athleticism,” and given that his labrum injury occurred in October, teams can account for any drop in performance after that time.