I am positive the Ravens did not need to take care of drama of their offensive line as they got down to enhance their crew in 2021.
Upgrading the O-line is one in every of their targets, which implies they’re trying to add high quality gamers, not subtract any.
However I am additionally fairly positive they knew they’d have drama after what occurred at left deal with following Ronnie Stanley’s season-ending ankle harm final November. Orlando Brown Jr. moved over from proper deal with and performed so properly he earned a Professional Bowl invitation.
Brown had performed proper deal with since becoming a member of the Ravens in 2018 as a result of Stanley was already established on the left facet, however the youthful participant at all times quietly envisioned himself at left deal with, the premier (and highest-paying) place on any O-line.
Now, for the reason that season ended, Brown has made it clear on social media that he sees himself as a left deal with going ahead, which places the Ravens in a difficult spot as a result of they only signed Stanley to a serious contract extension.
The Ravens anticipate Stanley, an All-Professional, to reclaim his beginning place in 2021. That will put Brown again at proper deal with, which does not dovetail together with his imaginative and prescient of the place he belongs.
Brown desires a commerce, in response to the NFL Community. His departure is definitely a risk. Few gamers are extra priceless to a crew than a high quality left deal with, and one as younger and confirmed as Brown seldom turns into accessible. He turns 25 in Could and is a two-time Professional Bowl choice.
It means Ravens Common Supervisor Eric DeCosta’s cellphone will probably be buzzing with incoming calls and commerce provides.
However that does not essentially imply Brown has performed his final recreation for the Ravens. Keep in mind, he’s below contract in Baltimore by way of 2021. His rookie deal expires after the upcoming season.
If not one of the commerce provides wow DeCosta, he does not should make a deal.
Brown may not need to change again to proper deal with for a season earlier than changing into an unrestricted free agent, but it surely’s a risk. (For these questioning about him holding out, a clause within the Collective Bargaining Settlement strongly discourages anybody from going that route. Mainly, if Brown does not report back to coaching camp on time, he must wait one other yr earlier than changing into a free agent.)
Backside line, the Ravens have some leverage on this state of affairs. Brown’s long-term NFL future could lie elsewhere, however as Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh is fond of claiming, professional soccer is a year-to-year enterprise. The Ravens undoubtedly have a greater shot at making a deep playoff run in 2021 with Stanley and Brown as their tackles, particularly with Stanley’s readiness unclear after a serious harm.
There’s additionally one other attainable final result. The Ravens might attempt to signal Brown to a contract extension. Sure, the uncertainty about the place he’d play is a serious impediment. However good paydays are likely to heal all.
I convey it up principally out of sentiment, as a result of Brown and the Ravens are such a perfect marriage. He grew up watching his late father play for the crew, and now he’s a startlingly precise knockoff of his dad – charismatic and in style off the sector, however fierce on Sundays.
Brown is strictly the sort of younger participant the Ravens usually attempt to signal to a contract extension – younger, ascending and completely into the franchise’s vibe.
However with a wage cap in impact, it is exhausting to pay one high-end offensive deal with, not to mention two. The possibilities are slim.
My hunch is there will be a number of provides tantalizing sufficient for DeCosta to contemplate making a deal. The Ravens by no means thoughts including draft capital. They’d in all probability slightly not take care of Brown being quietly sad in 2021. Their return in a commerce certainly would exceed the one compensatory choose they’d doubtless get in the event that they stored Brown for an additional yr earlier than he left by way of free company.
However nothing is for certain but. For now, I am positive the Ravens are doodling projections for his or her 2021 O-line with and with out Brown.
It is a disgrace the trade’s unforgiving realities have intruded on what had been a sort of soccer fairy story with Brown and the Ravens. However because the saying goes, enterprise is enterprise. And that is true for each side on this drama.