If the Baltimore Ravens trade Orlando Brown Jr. this offseason they will need a new starter on the offensive line. If the Baltimore Ravens keep Orlando Brown Jr. they have to plan on losing him after the 2021 NFL season.
The Ravens have a need no matter how you slice it. While the starting center position may seem like a bigger deal while Brown Jr. is under contract, the need at tackle goes beyond the Brown Jr. situation.
D.J. Fluker is a free agent and the Ravens will probably be more than willing to say goodbye to him. The Ravens may like the potential of Tyree Phillips, yet that’s all they’ve seen from the tackle out of Mississippi State. If the Ravens ended up trading Brown Jr., Phillips would not qualify as Plan A at right tackle.
The Ravens have virtually no depth behind Stanley and Brown Jr. lined up for the 2021 season. The Ravens had the right idea when they brought in D.J. Fluker. They needed a veteran player they could put at guard or even as a swing tackle, somebody with experience. It just happens to be that Fluker was never the answer.
The right tackle position is not where the big money is going to be spent this offseason for the Ravens. That doesn’t mean that free agency isn’t an option to address the position.
An idea that has been thrown around since his release from the Green Bay Packers is bringing Rick Wagner back. That wouldn’t break the bank and would give Baltimore an insurance plan for the position.
The 2021 NFL Draft is always a place the Ravens can go for their need at the tackle position. The way that Eric DeCosta will go about it depends on what happens with the trading fate of their current right tackle. Drafting a replacement starter and drafting a starter for 2022 or later is a much different thing.
The bottom line:
The tackle position is in a way under the spotlight because of the rumors surrounding Brown Jr. this offseason. The problem is that we’re talking about this wrong. It’s not just finding the long-term starter at right tackle, or even the immediate starter that is important. It’s finding a backup plan that is just as crucial.
If the 2020 season taught the coaching staff one thing it’s that injuries up front make things complicated. Baltimore to rebuild the offensive line from the backups to the starters. They have to find the right combination of eight to nine players, and they haven’t done that yet.