Ravens hold all the cards in Orlando Brown trade and should move slowly

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Matthew Stevens
·3 min read
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Baltimore Ravens tackle Orlando Brown Jr. has made it clear he believes he’s a left tackle and, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, he’d like to be traded to a team willing to start him there. While there are likely to be a bunch of teams ringing the Ravens’ phone in the coming months, Baltimore shouldn’t be in a rush here.

Regardless of your personal beliefs on Brown’s trade desires, they make plenty of sense. The Ravens already have their left tackle in Ronnie Stanley, inking him to a five-year contract extension last season. There’s no question left tackle is viewed by most as the more premier position compared to the right side, and Brown has been very clear about wanting to live out the dream his father had for him. But that doesn’t mean Baltimore has to simply give in to his demands and ship him off for a bargain if he’s adamant about being traded.

Ravens general manager Eric DeCosta can set a firm value on Brown’s services as a Pro Bowl left tackle — just as he views himself. Either other teams will agree with that or they won’t, and both situations work in Baltimore’s favor.

If another general manager picks up the phone and agrees to DeCosta’s terms right off the bat, the Ravens don’t have to deal with any potential drama and likely walk away winners of the trade. If no one is willing to hit that pricetag, DeCosta can clearly show Brown and his agent that the rest of the league disagrees with their assessment, potentially seeing him return for a year before hitting free agency.

Though Brown hasn’t even hinted at the notion of holding out, it probably wouldn’t do him much good even if he did. With the fines for skipping training camp set at $40,000 a day, it’s tough to see Brown sitting out for very long. Even if he does, Baltimore can afford to call his bluff since Brown would lose his year of eligibility if he sits out through Week 11 and wouldn’t hit free agency in 2022.

Ultimately, I don’t think the Ravens want to trade Brown. He’s a Pro Bowl tackle — whether on the left or right side — on an offensive line that could see new faces at two other positions. The production and continuity he brings to the table are worth considerably more for a team vying for a Super Bowl than even a first-round pick in return by trading him. If, by slowing things down to wait for the right offer, Baltimore can get Brown to cool off and return in 2021, I think they’d be far happier.

When you boil it all down, everything points to the Ravens either getting the trade value they want or Brown returning in 2021. They’d be pretty foolish to accept anything but those two options and Baltimore hasn’t often been on the wrong side of a trade. But regardless of what eventually happens, don’t expect things to move quickly.

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What's Orlando Brown Jr.'s trade value?