Is there any chance the Baltimore Ravens retain Orlando Brown Jr.?
It seems inevitable that Orlando Brown Jr. will be dealt via trade this offseason, but is there even a slight chance the Baltimore Ravens keep him around?
When a player of Orlando Brown Jr.’s caliber expresses he wants a trade, more often than not that man is going to get what he wants. It’s simply a different era than our parents grew up in and players have more control than ever before about their careers. Honestly, it’s the way it should be, and all the more power to Brown Jr. for saying something.
It’s not as though he’s unhappy in Baltimore; it’s more to do with his passion for his position. “I am a LEFT tackle!” he declared on Twitter. Shortly after, the two-time Pro Bowler was given permission by the Ravens to seek a trade. The writing became seemingly written on the wall that Orlando Brown Jr. would be playing 2021 and possibly onwards with a new team.
For the fans that are in denial, we are left asking ourselves if there is any hope whatsoever for Brown Jr. to come back to Baltimore. The simple answer is probably not, but nothing is impossible.
The reality here is that trading Orlando Brown Jr. makes a lot of sense for both parties. Brown Jr. wants to play left tackle and in Baltimore, he would revert back to the right side of the line after playing the majority of 2020 on the left. The move happened because of a freak injury to Ronnie Stanley, to who the Ravens gave a massive extension to last offseason. Stanley’s return simply fills the left tackle spot that Brown Jr. wants so badly. That should be all that needs to be said if we’re being honest.
However, I am not here to be a pessimist and am instead here to tell you that there is a chance no matter how small that Orlando Brown Jr. could return to the Baltimore Ravens in 2021 even if he isn’t on the left side of the line.
It’s simple… money talks.
Up until recent years, left tackle has been the premium position of the offensive line. Its importance stems from the fact that the position is responsible for protecting a quarterback’s blindside and anchoring the side of the ball where most defenses had their best pass rusher. That’s not the same in today’s game anymore, as a lot of the league’s best pass rushers now line up over the right tackle. Because of this, among other reasons, it’s more crucial than ever before to have two stud tackles on your offensive line.
Why is this important? Because this means that you’re going to be more willing to pay big money to your right tackle than in the past. Left tackle is still a very important position, but right tackle is quickly becoming equally as important.
With this in mind, Baltimore could entice Brown Jr. to return with a fat contract hanging in the balance. The Ravens showed how much they value good tackle play when they made the aforementioned Stanley the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history at the time of his signing. I’d be more than willing to bet that if it were up to them that they would love to give Brown Jr. some big money to lock down the other side of the line.
The man known as “Zeus” Jr. would be worth a hefty extension, too. Brown Jr. is one of the league’s top tackles in general regardless of what side of the line he plays on. Perhaps there’s a chance that getting a mega-deal from the team who believed in him enough to draft him could sway him to want to stay.
There’s also a chance that his value doesn’t match what teams could be offering. Many want a first-round draft choice just to start the conversation of trading him away. That’s a great thought and all, but that’s asking a lot for someone who is set to hit Free Agency following the 2021 season. Unless that team is prepared to make Brown Jr. a very rich man, he may be just a rental for a team in 2021. Whoever makes the trade for him needs to be able to make the commitment long-term.
This is all a lot of wishful thinking, obviously, but at least it makes some sense. While it doesn’t feel like a power play to earn more money, it doesn’t hurt to say that you prefer to play on the side of the line that is typically more expensive. Maybe that’s what Brown Jr. is trying to do here. That’s not a bad thing at all; go get your money! Rather, the Ravens should listen and be willing to shell out the extra coin for his services. He’s well worth an extension and perhaps talks of a rich deal could persuade him to come back.
At the end of the day, it seems very likely that Orlando Brown Jr. will be playing for a new team in 2021. That won’t stop me from being optimistic about his return and it may not be as impossible as we think.