Marquise Brown

Extension Candidate: Marquise Brown

The Cardinals are interested in an extension for draft-day trade acquisition Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, and while Brown himself is presumably willing to talk contract, it is unclear where negotiations stand at this point, or if they have even commenced. Brown is scheduled to earn a $2.1MM salary in 2022 (the final year of his rookie deal), and a fully-guaranteed $13.4MM in 2023 under the fifth-year option of the rookie contract.

The 2019 draft class of wide receivers, which includes the likes of Deebo SamuelA.J. Brown, D.K. Metcalf, Diontae Johnson, and Terry McLaurin, has been a key source of material at PFR in recent months, as those players became extension-eligible for the first time this offseason and either have contributed, or soon will contribute, to the booming receiver market. A.J. Brown landed a $25MM/year contract from the Eagles upon being traded to Philadelphia from the Titans, and McLaurin just agreed to a $23.3MM/year deal with the Commanders. As Joel Corry of CBS Sports recently tweeted, four wide receivers enjoyed $20MM+ AAVs when the offseason began, and there are now 12 receivers who are sitting at or above that threshold (despite the release of Julio Jones). Samuel and Metcalf seem poised to join the club at some point in the near future.

Marquise Brown, the No. 25 overall pick of the Ravens in the 2019 draft, has not yet produced at the same level as his above-mentioned contemporaries, but that can be at least partially explained by the fact that his three years in Baltimore were spent in a run-centric offense focused upon the dual-threat capabilities of quarterback Lamar Jackson. The passing scheme of offensive coordinator Greg Roman — who has served as OC since Brown’s rookie year — has been heavily criticized for being too simplistic and predictable, and Brown’s trade request was largely a function of that system.

It was just … my happiness,” Brown said when asked about his desire for a trade. “I talked to Lamar about it after my second year. And then after my third year, leading up to the end of the season, you know, [Jackson] wasn’t playing. I let him know again, like, ‘Yeah, bro, I can’t do it.’

You know, it’s not really on Lamar, like I love Lamar. It was just, you know, it’s just the system just wasn’t for me personally. You know, I love all my teammates. I love the guys. It was just something I had to think about for myself.”

Brown’s diminutive stature (5-9, 170) will likely prevent him from ever becoming a true “alpha” receiver, but he possesses elite speed and is a solid enough route runner. In head coach Kliff Kingsbury‘s offense, he will have a chance to shine, although it will be interesting to see if the absence of DeAndre Hopkins for the first six games of the 2022 season will allow him to earn a larger target share and thrive, or if it will make his life more difficult since opposing defenses will not have to key in on Hopkins.

At present, Spotrac estimates Brown’s market value to be a little over $17MM per season, suggesting that he could reasonably expect a four-year, ~$68MM deal if he were a free agent right now. Again, there is no way of knowing what Brown’s camp is targeting at this point, though it could be that the Oklahoma product is content to prove that he is worthy of a larger contract by living up to his potential in Kingsbury’s aerial attack.

Brown managed to crack the 1,000-yard mark for the first time in 2021, though it required 146 targets to get there, and his 11.1 yards-per-reception rate — which was the lowest mark of his career — belies his abilities as a deep threat. It stands to reason that the Cardinals, who gave up the No. 23 overall pick of this year’s draft to acquire Brown and the No. 100 overall pick, would want to extend Hollywood before he can truly break out, but Brown himself might hold off unless Arizona is willing to bet on his upside by making him yet another $20MM man.

Cardinals Seeking Long-Term Deal With Marquise Brown

The Cardinals made one of the biggest splashes during the draft when they acquired Marquise Brown. While they have time to work out a new contract with him, they are clearly seeking to do just that in the near future. 

Arizona sent a first round pick to the Ravens for ‘Hollywood’ during Day 1 of the draft, honoring what, it was revealed shortly thereafter, had been a longstanding trade request. With the Cardinals, he is poised to be involved in a much more pass-happy offense than the one in Baltimore he is leaving. That rings true in particular with respect to the first six games of the 2022 season, during which DeAndre Hopkins will be serving a PED suspension.

As the team’s top receiving option for that stretch, Brown will have the opportunity to build off of his first career 1,000-yard season as he reunites with former college teammate Kyler Murray. The 25-year-old would help his cause, financially speaking, with another productive season. He has two more years on his rookie pact, including the fifth-year option in 2023, but the Cardinals will look to have him under contract for longer than that, considering the price they paid to acquire him.

“Yeah, we’d love to get it done” head coach Kliff Kingsbury said, via USA Today’s Tyler Dragon, when asked about an extension for Brown. “Hollywood is a guy that we see as a long-term answer.”

A second contract for Brown would be complicated by a number of factors. One is the seismic shift which has taken place in the WR market this offseason; 11 wideouts are now on contracts worth at least $20MM per season. While Brown may not reach that plateau on an extension, his price will no doubt be inflated by the other recent deals signed by young receivers. The Cardinals also have to consider the ramifications of an extension for Murray, which could be coming shortly, and the financial situation the team will be in after it is signed.

In addition to their top remaining offseason priority, this situation will be one worth watching for the Cardinals in the weeks to come.

2023 NFL Fifth-Year Option Results

Monday marked the deadline for NFL clubs to officially pick up their options on 2019 first-rounders. Fifth-year option seasons are no longer just guaranteed for injury — they’re now fully guaranteed, which makes these decisions a little tougher for teams.

Nineteen players had their options exercised, a tick up from 14 last year. Here’s the full rundown:

1. QB Kyler Murray, Cardinals – Exercised ($29.7MM)
2. DE Nick Bosa, 49ers: Exercised ($17.9MM)
3. DE Quinnen Williams, Jets: Exercised ($11.5MM)
4. DE Clelin Ferrell, Raiders: Declined ($11.5MM)
5. LB Devin White, Buccaneers: Exercised ($11.7MM)
6. QB Daniel Jones, Giants: Declined ($22.4MM)
7. DE Josh Allen, Jaguars: Exercised ($11.5MM)
8. TE T.J. Hockenson, Lions: Exercised ($9.4MM)
9. DT Ed Oliver, Bills: Exercised ($10.8MM)
10. LB Devin Bush, Steelers: Declined ($10.9MM)
11. OT Jonah Williams, Bengals: Exercised ($12.6MM)
12. LB Rashan Gary, Packers: Exercised ($10.9MM)
13. DT Christian Wilkins, Dolphins: Exercised ($10.8MM)
14. G Chris Lindstrom, Falcons: Exercised ($13.2MM)
15. QB Dwayne Haskins:
16. DE Brian Burns, Panthers: Exercised ($16MM)
17. DT Dexter Lawrence, Giants: Exercised ($10.8MM)
18. C Garrett Bradbury, Vikings: Declined ($13.2MM)
19. DT Jeffery Simmons, Titans: Exercised ($10.8MM)
20. TE Noah Fant, Seahawks: Exercised ($6.9MM; originally drafted by Broncos)
21. S Darnell Savage, Packers: Exercised ($7.9MM)
22. OT Andre Dillard, Eagles: Declined ($12.6MM)
23. OT Tytus Howard, Texans: Exercised ($13.2MM)
24. RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders: Declined ($8MM)
25. WR Marquise Brown, Cardinals: ($13.4MM; originally drafted by Ravens)
26. DE Montez Sweat, Commanders: Exercised ($11.5MM)
27. S Johnathan Abram, Raiders: Declined ($7.9MM)
28. DE Jerry Tillery, Chargers: Declined ($11.5MM)
29. DE L.J. Collier, Seahawks: Declined ($11.5MM)
30. CB Deandre Baker — N/A (released by Giants)
31. OT Kaleb McGary, Falcons: Declined ($13.2MM)
32. WR N’Keal Harry, Patriots: Declined ($12.4MM)

Chiefs, Packers Pursued Marquise Brown

Prior to the Cardinals acquiring Marquise Brown during the first round, the Ravens discussed the deep threat with the Chiefs and Packers, SI.com’s Howard Balzer tweets.

Given both contenders’ receiver moves this offseason, their involvement in these trade talks should not surprise. The Cardinals’ somewhat surprising offer — headlined by the No. 23 overall pick — won out, and neither the Chiefs nor Packers selected a wide receiver in the first round. Despite holding two first-rounders apiece, Green Bay and Kansas City enter Day 2 of the draft with needs at the position.

Although the teams’ market-shifting Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill trades had more of an impact on the A.J. Brown trade than the one involving the Baltimore wideout, the moves left the Chiefs and Packers in need. Kansas City does not appear to feature the same level of need as Green Bay, thanks to Marquez Valdes-Scantling‘s Missouri relocation, but the team was linked to a wideout move ahead of the draft. The Packers have done well with second-round receiver picks; perhaps this is the direction Green Bay goes Friday.

Lamar Jackson expressed frustration after the Brown trade commenced, but the former MVP knew about the latter’s trade request. Despite Jackson’s Twitter activity Thursday night, GM Eric DeCosta informed the star quarterback of the move before it happened, per Pro Football Focus’ Doug Kyed. Brown did as well, being at the Cardinals’ draft party Thursday night.

It was just … my happiness,” Brown said during an appearance on the I Am Athlete Tonight podcast (via Pro Football Talk)I talked to Lamar about it after my second year. And then after my third year, leading up to the end of the season, you know, [Jackson] wasn’t playing. I let him know again, like, ‘Yeah, bro, I can’t do it.’

You know, it’s not really on Lamar, like I love Lamar. It was just, you know, it’s just the system just wasn’t for me personally. You know, I love all my teammates. I love the guys. It was just something I had to think about for myself.”

The Ravens’ run-heavy system has steered receivers (including Smith-Schuster) away in the past, and Brown’s exit leaves Baltimore with a bit of a need at the position. This reunites Brown with Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray, a scenario Brown said the two discussed this winter (via 98.7 Arizona Sports’ Tyler Drake, on Twitter). Brown, who is coming off his first NFL 1,000-yard season, played a big role in Murray winning the 2018 Heisman Trophy. The 5-foot-9 target caught 75 passes for 1,318 yards and 10 touchdowns as a sophomore, catching the Ravens’ eye in the 2019 first round.

Marquise Brown Requested Trade Out Of Baltimore

The first of two sizeable trades involving wide receivers saw Marquise Brown dealt from the Ravens to the Cardinals. To pundits and fans alike, the swap came as a surprise, but such a move had apparently been a distinct possibility for months. 

[RELATED: Ravens Trade Brown To Cardinals For First-Round Pick]

When speaking to the media after last night’s first round, general manager Eric DeCosta said Brown’s desire to be dealt was well-known in the organization long before it became public. That was further verified by the events which took place during the build-up to the draft. As NFL Network’s James Palmer noted (on Twitter) last night, ‘Hollywood’ himself was already at the Arizona draft party by the time the trade was announced.

That’s a complicated topic” DeCosta said about the trade. “For me personally, complicated because Marquise was my first pick and one of my favorite guys on the team. But Marquise came to me after the season and requested that he be traded. He was not happy and wanted to play elsewhere.

It was something I anguished over for a long time. He would tell you that he and I had many conversations throughout the spring… This was a situation where it was going to be impossible for the club to truly win [the deal], but we try to do what’s best for the player.”

The trade sees Brown reunited with former Oklahoma teammate Kyler Murray, and will give the Cardinals a replacement for the speed at the position they lost with Christian Kirk‘s departure. The Ravens, meanwhile, elected not to use the 23rd overall pick on a direct WR replacement (as the Titans did after trading A.J. Brown), instead picking All-American center Tyler Linderbaum. That leaves the team thin on the WR depth chart, with 2021 first-rounder Rashod Bateman and All-Pro tight end Mark Andrews headlining Baltimore’s pass-catching corps.

How the Ravens fill the void left by the trade, and the level of success Brown has with the Cardinals will be two storylines worth watching over the remainder of the offseason and into 2022.

Ravens Trade WR Marquise Brown To Cardinals

The Ravens have traded a former first-round pick. According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter), Baltimore has traded wideout Marquise Brown to the Cardinals, reuniting the receiver with his college QB. Cardinals GM Steve Keim announced that the team will also be picking up Brown’s fifth-year option (via Josh Alper of ProFootballTalk.com).

Per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter), the Ravens will trade Brown and pick No. 100 to Arizona for pick No. 23. It’ll be interesting to see which direction the Ravens go with their second selection of the night, and with plenty of talented wideouts still on the board, the team could instantly look to replace Brown in the lineup.

“Hollywood” was the 25th-overall pick in the 2019 draft. Following two up-and-down seasons to start his career, the receiver had a career year in 2021. Brown finished the campaign with a career-high 1,013 yards from scrimmage to go along with six touchdowns. His 92 receptions almost surpassed the totals from his first two seasons combined.

Considering their lack of reliable depth at the position, the Ravens certainly aren’t done at receiver. At the moment, the team’s depth chart is led by Rashod Bateman and Devin Duvernay.

The Cardinals could use some reinforcement at the position after losing Christian Kirk to the Jaguars. DeAndre Hopkins is still around to serve as Kyler Murray’s top targets, but Brown will provide another reliable target for the explosive offense.

Ravens Notes: Lamar Jackson, Marquise Brown, Coaching Staff Changes

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta held an end-of-season press conference on Friday. In it, he provided updates on a number of key points in the team’s upcoming offseason, including the current status of contract negotiations with quarterback Lamar Jackson

DeCosta made it clear that he is personally handling talks with Jackson, and has been from the beginning of the negotiation process. He added that the two of them have spoken “five or six times over the past year” (Twitter link via Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic). According to ESPN’s Jamison Hensley, DeCosta added “I’m proud of the relationship that we have” (Twitter link).

Jackson certainly didn’t have the season he or the Ravens were expecting. In 12 games, he recorded 2,882 passing yards and a near-even (16:13) touchdown-to-interception ratio. While he added another 767 yards and two touchdowns on the ground, he also had six fumbles. Between those numbers, and a season-ending ankle injury, 2021 was a far cry from Jackson’s 2019 MVP campaign. If anything, that could further complicate his contract talks, which were reportedly not proceeding as hoped earlier in the season. DeCosta stated: “We’re working at Lamar’s pace… We will operate based on his urgency” (Twitter link), suggesting the team is willing to let the 25-year-old play on his fifth year option.

Here are some other important notes from the presser, along with some updates to the team’s coaching staff:

  • DeCosta said he expects to pick up the fifth year option on wide receiver Marquise Brown (Twitter link via Hensley). A close friend of Jackson’s, Brown had his most productive season in 2021 (91 catches, 1,008 yards, six touchdowns), though he tailed off considerably late in the campaign.
  • The offensive line will be a priority in the offseason. As Zrebiec tweets, DeCosta stated a desire to strengthen the unit overall, though he is “optimistic” left tackle Ronnie Stanley will be able to return to full health after a second major ankle surgery.
  • Zreibec adds that the team is planning on getting younger along the defensive front. With that said, DeCosta has already been in communication with veteran Calais Campbell, who was thought to be contemplating retirement throughout the year.
  • Hensley tweets that cornerback Marcus Peters is expected to be back. He missed the entire season and his release would create $10MM in cap space, but the former All-Pro would provide a playmaking element to the secondary if healthy.
  • As for the coaching staff, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets that inside linebackers coach Rob Ryan will not return. Hensley adds that outside LBs coach Drew Wilkins has also been let go, to pursue new opportunities alongside former DC Don Martindale.
  • According to Zrebiec, former Raven Zach Orr is a candidate to replace Ryan. After his promising career was abruptly ended due to a rare neck ailment, he’s taken to coaching. He spent 2021 on the Jaguars’ staff.

 

Ravens QB Lamar Jackson Out For Week 11

The Ravens’ brutal 2021 season continues. Baltimore’s injured reserve list includes a number of top-flight starters, and the club has dealt with plenty of other injuries besides those significant enough to warrant an IR designation. Now, the Ravens will be without starting QB Lamar Jackson for their matchup against the Bears this afternoon.

Jackson is dealing with a non-COVID illness, which Peter Schrager of the NFL Network reports is a “congestion of the lungs” (Twitter link). Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says the exact virus has not been identified (it’s not the flu), but while the team’s medical staff tried to keep Jackson hydrated enough to play, he is simply not healthy enough to do so (Twitter links).

Adam Schefter of ESPN.com adds (via Twitter) that this virus went through the organization last week, and other players like WR Rashod Bateman and C Bradley Bozeman were also affected. Only Jackson, however, is missing today’s game as a result of the illness.

But the Ravens are dealing with other injuries that will further undermine their chances to win today’s game. Top receiver Marquise Brown is out with a thigh injury, NT Brandon Williams is out with his lingering shoulder ailment, and Baltimore is down to three healthy corners, as CBs Anthony Averett and Jimmy Smith are also inactive.

Backup QB Tyler Huntley will get his first career start in Jackson’s absence. Huntley, a 2020 UDFA, has a strong arm and offers a fair amount of running ability, so his game mimics that of Jackson. But the Ravens will obviously miss their 2019 MVP in a big way.

Despite all of their injuries (and illnesses), the team has managed a 6-3 record, largely as a result of Jackson’s heroics. A surprising Week 10 loss to the Dolphins, though, may prove damaging down the line, especially with a difficult end-of-season schedule that features five divisional games plus contests against the Packers and Rams. Now, Huntley will be called upon to keep his team atop the AFC North before that challenging stretch gets underway.

Ravens’ Rashod Bateman To Miss Time

Rashod Bateman missed a few Ravens practices last week and is set to miss several more after going down during Tuesday’s workout. The first-round wide receiver is set to be out a while as a result, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets.

A soft-tissue leg injury caused Bateman to limp off a Ravens practice field today, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (video link). While Bateman is not expected to miss “a crazy length of time,” per Garafolo, the Ravens should prepare to be without their rookie wideout for a stretch.

The Minnesota product previously missed time due to a groin issue, Jeff Zrebiec of The Athletic notes. Altogether, this will force Bateman to enter his rookie season after missing extensive reps. The second first-round receiver the Ravens have taken in the past three years, Bateman is expected to play a major role as a rookie.

Key Ravens passing-game principals have run into a few issues during camp. In addition to Lamar Jackson‘s second COVID-19-induced absence, Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin have been down for more than a week due to hamstring maladies. Even though John Harbaugh indicated Brown’s absence is precautionary, Zrebiec adds the third-year deep threat has needed more recovery time than the team anticipated.

Ravens Activate Marquise Brown From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Half the Ravens’ receiving corps missed practice this week, but the team will have its full crew of wideouts available against the Jaguars on Sunday.

The Ravens activated Marquise Brown, Miles Boykin and James Proche from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. None of the three tested positive for the coronavirus, but each were high-risk close contacts and were forced to isolate for five days.

This marks more good news for a Ravens team set to play on Sunday for the first time in three weeks. Virus issues led to the Ravens playing Wednesday and Tuesday games in Weeks 12 and 13, respectively, prior to their action-packed triumph in Cleveland on Monday.

Brown has set a new career high in receiving yards (605) this season, but the second-year wideout and Lamar Jackson have struggled to stay on the same page. Drops have also been an issue for Baltimore’s top receiver. Still, Brown has managed to score touchdowns in each of the Ravens’ past three games. He will be a key part of the team’s final push for a playoff spot.