The news that changed everything just happened. According to Mike Garafolo and Ian Rappoport of NFL Network, the Baltimore Ravens have traded Orlando Brown Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs. It’s time to sit down and think this one over from top to bottom.
This is a big trade. The Chiefs were desperate for an offensive tackle, so it helps them in their bid to be a Super Bowl team for the third year in a row. The Ravens have other ideas and there may be some fans scratching their heads, wondering why Baltimore would let the Chiefs get better.
From Baltimore’s perspective, the Chiefs getting better probably had nothing to do with this. The Ravens shopped around and they took the best deal. It would have to be the best deal if the Chiefs were the team that got their budding offensive tackle superstar. This trade was about boosting the draft capital of the Baltimore Ravens. Pure and simple.
Let’s take a look at the deal that has been reported by Garaffolo and Rappoport. Let’s take an honest look at this and try not to leap to any knee-jerk reactions that we’ll want to take back later. What’s good about this trade? What’s bad about it? Once we answer that, we can give it a grade.
What’s good about this trade:
What’s good about this trade is that the Ravens now have two first-round picks and two third-round picks. When you consider they also have two fourth-round selections, the Ravens have a lot to get done in this draft.
The Ravens had to make a move eventually. If the Ravens turned down this deal and a better one didn’t come along, they’d be throwing a lot of value down the drain. The Ravens have so many options now it’s crazy.
They can pick two strong additions on the first night of the draft. They can trade both picks to move up and get a superstar. They can pick at 27 and trade out of the 31st pick to gain even more picks. The Ravens can attack multiple needs. They can replace Brown Jr. by signing Alejandro Villanueva or drafting an offensive tackle. The Ravens can work this to completely change their offseason.
The Chiefs have to be ending up in a salary cap nightmare at some point. They essentially traded away a first-round pick and a third-round pick with some change for next year, for a player they have to reach a contract extension with after this season. The Chiefs may end up the long-term losers of this trade.
What’s bad about this trade?
The obvious sticking points for detractors of this trade are that the Chiefs got what they needed and they got the Ravens’ second-round pick while they were at it. The Ravens departing with the 58th overall pick does cushion the blow of the cost for the Chiefs.
The Chiefs have played in the Super Bowl for two straight seasons, and they were the AFC runner-up the year before they won it all in the 2019 season. They have Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the credibility to be named the front runner in the AFC. If the Ravens want to win it all they have to get past the Chiefs, right?
That’s the downside. The Chiefs win a bit, the Ravens win a bit. The Chiefs didn’t get fleeced. As long as this trade took to happen (we’ve been talking about Orlando Brown Jr. for months), there couldn’t have been a deal where DeCosta could get away with NFL executive robbery.
What’s bad about this trade is that it’s a win for both teams. Either team could end up using the assets in this deal to get to the Super Bowl.
Grading the trade:
Let’s not pretend that the Chiefs didn’t give up a lot of picks. Let’s not pretend that the Ravens aren’t sitting pretty with two late first-round picks. Let’s not pretend that we didn’t just see one of the best franchises at working the draft just get more tools to work the draft like a boss.
This isn’t a perfect trade. The problem is that we had months to dream up more exciting trades. It’s perfectly understandable to want what you dreamed up, however, if you’re a Ravens fan you have to admit this is a major haul.
If you trust Eric DeCosta it was a win for the Ravens. The Chiefs were going to get better at offensive tackle one way or the other. They chose a more costly way of doing it than just nailing it with the 31st overall pick. Orlando Brown Jr. wasn’t going to be a Raven in 2022. The Ravens got something out of it, and it would have been foolish not to.
If the Ravens knock this draft out of the park, they win. The Ravens aren’t far from being a Super Bowl team. This time next week we could be saying that this trade gave the Ravens the boost they needed to get over the hump.