Pro Bowl offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. requests trade from Baltimore Ravens

By Matt Fitzgerald
Jan 16, 2021; Orchard Park, New York, USA; Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown (78) jogs on the field prior to an AFC Divisional Round game against the Buffalo Bills at Bills Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Baltimore Ravens offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is seeking a fresh start and a position change, with a desire for a fresh start and the ability to play left tackle for another team.

Brown recently spoke out on social media about his desire to switch over from his right tackle spot in Baltimore, which won’t be possible once first-team All-Pro Ronnie Stanley returns from injury.

Orlando Brown Jr. wants a trade, eyes left tackle position with new team

NFL Network’s Ian Rapport reported on Brown’s official demand to leave the Ravens organization:

The 24-year-old is a bright, rising star in the NFL who’s been playing on the right side of Baltimore’s offensive line due to the prowess of Stanley. Brown has graded as Pro Football Focus’ 24th-ranked offensive tackle in each of the past two seasons among qualifiers, which essentially means he’s a top-10-caliber player at his spot this early in his career.

However, Brown wants to honor his late father’s legacy and prove he can be a long-term player on the left side instead, as he explained on Twitter in recently thanking Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta and the franchise for investing in him in the first place:

Outsiders or casual fans might’ve viewed Baltimore’s decision to select Brown in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft as a nepotistic move because of the fact that his dad once shined for the team. But that was hardly the case, as Brown’s slide in the draft was more due to concerns about being in football shape and his massive, 350-pound frame more than his actual ability on the gridiron.

Since getting selected by the Ravens, Brown has rewarded their faith en route to two consecutive Pro Bowl bids.

Why it makes sense for Baltimore Ravens to trade Orlando Brown Jr.

Will Baltimore Ravens ultimately trade Orlando Brown Jr?
Sep 13, 2020; Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to runs as offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. (78) blocks Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett (95) during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Replacing such a massive, yet athletic tackle of Brown’s stature and production is certainly no easy task. While Baltimore could ask for some strong compensation in a hypothetical deal, it’d be ideal to convince Brown to stay put as part of an ongoing effort to protect MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson and help drive the team’s unique rushing attack.

Unfortunately for the Ravens, it appears Brown has his mind very much made up at this point.

Losing Brown would be a big blow to a Baltimore line that already lost All-Pro guard Marshal Yanda to retirement prior to the 2020 campaign and is still awaiting Stanley’s return from a major ankle injury. Brown is still a young player who’s still tapping into the immense potential he has, and it’s a credit to his hard work and Baltimore’s development of players that he’s come on so strong.

Read More: Ravens LT Ronnie Stanley suffers injury in first game after inking contract extension

Having acknowledged all those factors, it’d probably be better for the locker room and the Ravens’ exceptional culture of winning to trade away a player who seems pretty steadfast in his desire to not want to be there.

Another key element that makes Brown’s probable departure a little easier for the Ravens to digest is the fact that Jackson will definitely command a long-term, lucrative contract extension sometime in the near future. Tough decisions need to be made on the personnel side to fit under the NFL salary cap, and Brown is entering the final year of his rookie contract as it is.

While sacrificing protection for Jackson isn’t ideal, trading Brown away eliminates some of the guesswork Baltimore has in terms of who to pay and how to make Jackson’s mega contract work as the front office tries to maintain the team’s status as a perennial playoff contender.

Read More: Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens to discuss contract extension very soon